« PreviousContinue »
enthusiastic reception of Brasidas at Scione. The state, he says,
any man of sense can go day after day to view the same dreary decked him with garlands, as though he were an athlele.
It is easy to explain the different feelings which the games The Pylkion games originated in a local festival held at of Greece and of Rome excite. The Greeks at their best were Delphi
, anciently called Pytho, in honour of the Pythian Apollo, actors, the Romans from first to last were spectators. It is true and were limited to musical competitions. The date at which that even in Greek games the professional element played a large they became a Panhellenic årúv (so Demosthenes calls them) and ever-increasing part. As early as the 6th century B.C. cannot be determined, but the Pythiads as a chronological era Xenophanes complains that the wrestler's strength is preferred to date from 527 B.C., by which time music had been added to all the the wisdom of the philosopher, and Euripides, in a well-known Panhellenic contests. Now, too, these were held at the end of fragment, holds up to scorn the brawny swaggering athlete. every fourth year; previously there had been an interval of But what in Greece was a perversion and acknowledged to be eight years. The Amphictyones presided and the prize was a such, the Romans not only practised but held up as their ideal. chaplet of laurel.
No Greek, however high in birth, was ashamed to compete in The Nemean games were biennial and date from 516 B.C. person for the Olympic crown. The Roman, though little inferior They were by origin an Argive festival in honour of Nemean in gymnastic exercises, kept strictly to the privacy of the Zeus, but in historical times were open to all Greece and palaestra; and for a patrician to appear in public as a charioteer provided the established round of contests, except that no is stigmatized by the satirist as a mark of shameless effrontery. mention is made of a chariot-race. A wreath of wild celery was Roman games are generally classified as fixed, extraordinary
and volive; but they may be more conveniently grouped accordThe Isthmian games; held on the Isthmus of Corinth in the ing to the place where they were held, viz. the circus or the first and third year of each Olympiad, date, according to Eusebius, amphitheatre. from 523 B.C. They are variously reported to have been founded For the Roman world the circus was at once a political club, a by Poseidon or Sisyphus in honour of Melicertes, or by Theseus fashionable lounge, a rendezvous of gallantry, a betting ring, to celebrate bis victory over the robbers Sinis and Sciron. Their and a playground for the million. Juvenal, speaking loosely, says early importance is attested by the law of Solon which bestowed that in his day it held the whole of Rome; but there is no reason a reward of 100 drachmae on every Athenian who gained a to doubt the precise statement of P. Victor, that in the Circus victory. The festival was managed by the Corinthians; and Maximus there were seats for 350,000 spectators. after the city was destroyed by Mummius (146 B.C.) the presidency of the various Ludi Circenses it may be enough here to give a passed to the Sicyonians until Julius Caesar rebuilt Corinth
short account of the most important, the Ludi Magnior Maximi, (46 B.C.). They probably continued to exist till Christianity Magni were originally a votive feast to Capitoline Jupiter, promised
Initiated according to legend by Tarquinius Priscus, the Ludi became the religion of the Roman empire. The Athenians were by the general when he took the field, and performed on his return closely connected with the festival, and had the privilege of from the annual campaign. They thus presented the appearance of proedris, the foremost seat at the games, while the Eleans were a military spectacle, or rather a review of the whole burgess force, absolutely excluded from participation. The games included and thence to the circus, which lay between the Palatine and Aven
which marched in solemn procession from the capitol to the forum gymnastic, equestrian and musical contests, differing little from tine. First came the song of patricians mounted on horseback, those of the other great festivals, and the prize was a crown made next the rest of the burghers ranged according to their military at one time of parsley (more probably wild celery), at a later classes, after them the athletes, naked save for the girdle round period of pine. The importance of the Isthmian games in later their loins, then the company of dancers with the harp and flute times is shown by the fact that Flamininus chose the occasion players, next the priestly colleges bearing censers and other sacred
instruments, and lastly the simulacra of the gods, carried aloft on fo: proclaiming the liberation of Greece, 196 B.C. That at a their shoulders or drawn in cars. The games themselves were fourlater anniversary (A.D. 67) Nero repeated the proclamation of fold :-(1) the chariot race; (2) the ludus Troiae; (3) the military Flamininus, and coupled with it the announcement of his own
review; and (4) gymnastic contests. Of these only the first two call
for any comment. (1) The chariot employed in the circus was the infamous victory at Olympia, shows alike the hollowness of two-wheeled war car, at first drawn by two, afterwards by four, and the first gift and the degradation which had befallen the Greek more rarely by three horses. Originally only two chariots started games, the last faint relic of Greek nationality.
for the prize, but under Caligula we read of as many as twenty-four The Ludi Publici of the Romans included feasts and heats run in the day, each of four chariots. The distance traversed
was fourteen times the length of the circus or nearly 5 m. theatrical exhibitions as well as the public games with charioteers were apparently from the first professionals, though
which alone we are concerned. As in Greece, they the stigma under which the gladiator lay never attached to their were intimately connected with religion.
At the calling. Indeed a successful driver may compare in popularity and beginning of each civil year it was the duty of the consuls companies distinguished by the colours of their tunics, whence arose
fortune with a modern jockey. The drivers were divided into to vow to the gods games for the safety of the commonwealth, the faction of the circus which assumed such importance under the and the expenses were defrayed by the treasury. Thus, later emperors. In republican times there were two factions, the at no cost to themselves, the Roman public were enabled to
white and the red; two more, the green and the blue, were added indulge at the same time their religious feelings and their love of
under the empire, and for a short time in Domitian's reign there
were also the gold and the purple. Even in Juvenal's day party amusement. Their taste for games naturally grew till it became spirit ran so high that a defeat of the green was looked upon as a a passion, and under the empire games were looked upon by second Cannae. After the seat of empire had been transferred to the mob as one of the two necessaries of life. The aediles who Constantinople these factions of the circus were made the basis of succeeded to this duty of the consuls were expected to supplement such as the famous Nika revolt (A.D. 532), in which 30,000 citizens
political cabals, and frequently resulted in sanguinary tumults, the state allowance írom their private purse. Political adven- lost their lives. (2) The Ludus Troiac was a sham-fight on horseback turers were not slow to discover so ready a road to popularity, and in which the actors were patrician youths. A spirited description of what at first had been exclusively a state charge devolved upon it will be found in the 5th Aeneid." (See also Circus.) men of wealth and ambition. A victory over some barbarian given in the circus, belong more properly to the amphitheatre:
The two exhibitions we shall next notice, though occasionally horde of the death of a relation served as the pretext for a magnificent display. But the worst extravagance of private one another or with men-captives, criminals or trained hunters citizens was eclipsed by the reckless prodigality of the Caesars, called bestiarii. The first certain instance on record of this amusewho squandered the revenues of whole provinces in catering for
ment is in 186 B.C., when M. Fulvius exhibited lions and tigers in
The taste for these brutalizing spectacles grew apace, the mob of idle sightseers on whose favour their throne de- and the most distant provinces were ransacked by generals and pended. But though public games played as important a part in proconsuls to supply the arena with rare animals-giraffes, tigers Roman as in Greek history, and must be studied by the Roman and crocodiles. Sulla provided for a single show 100 lions, and historian as an integral factor in social and political life, yet, Gactulian hunters. Julius Caesar enjoys the doubtful honour of
Pompey 600 lions, besides elephants, which were matched with regarded solely as exhibitions, they are comparatively devoid of inventing the bull-fight. At the inauguration
of the Colosseum interest, and we sympathize with Pliny, who asks his friend how 1 5000 wild and 4000 tame beasts were killed, and to commemorate
Trajan's Dacian victories there was a butchery of 11.000 bcasts. Roman lalrunculi (soldiers), the men were distinguished as The naumachia was a sea-fight, either in the arena, which was flooded for the occasion by a system of pipes and sluices, or on an
common soldiers and“ rovers," the equivalent of crowned pieces. artificial lake. The rival fleets were manned by prisoners of war
Duodecim scripla, as the name implies, was played on a board or criminals, who often fought till one side was exterminated. In with twelve double lines and approximated very closely to our the sea-fight on Lake Fucinus, arranged by the emperor Claudius, backgammon. There were fifteen pieces on each side, and the 100 ships and 19,000 men were engaged. But the special exhibition of the amphitheatre was the munus
moves were determined by a throw of the dice;“ blots "might be gladiatorium, which dates from the funeral games of Marcus and taken, and the object of the player was to clear off all his own men. Decimus Brutus, given in honour of their father. 264 B.C. It was Lastly must be mentioned the Collabus (9.0.), a game peculiar to probably borrowed from Etruria, and a refinement on the common the Greeks, and with them the usual accompaniment of a wine savage custom of slaughtering slaves or captives on the grave of a warrior or chieftain. Nothing so clearly
brings before us the vein party. In its simplest form each guest threw what was left in his of coarseness and inhumanity which runs through the otherwise
cup into a metal basin, and the success of the throw, determined noble character of the Roman, as his passion for gladiatorial shows. partly by the sound of the wine in falling, was reckoned a divinaWe can fancy how Pericles, or even Alcibiades, would have loathed tion of love. For the various elaborations of the game in Sicily a spectacle that Augustus tolerated and Trajan patronized. Only we read of Cottabus houses), Athenaeus and Pollux must be conalter the conquest of Greece we hear of their introduction into Athens, and they were then admitted rather out of compliment to
sulted. the conquerors than from any love of the sport. lo spite of numerous
BIBLIOGRAPHY.-Daremberg et Saglio, Dictionnaire des an. prohibitions from Constantine downwards, they continued to liquités grecques et romaines, articles Agon," " Athleta," - Circus," Hourish even as late as St Augustine. To a Christian martyr, if we
"Ludi, Olympia,". " Spiele"; Curtius and Adler, Olympia (5 may credit the story told by Theodoret and Cassiodorus, belongs the vols., 1890, &c.): Hachtmann, Olympic und seine Festspiele: honour of their final abolition. In the year 404 Telemachus, a
Blümner, Home Life of the Ancient Greeks; J P. Mahaffy: old monk who had travelled from the East on this sacred mission, Greek Education;, P. Gardner and F. B. Jevons, Manual of Grecke rushed into the arena and endeavoured to separate the combatants: Antiquities: E. N. Gardiner, Greek Athletic Sports (1910); Becker. He was instantly despatched by the practor's orders; but Honorius, Marquardt, Handbuch der römischen Altertümer (5 vols.). (F. S.) on hearing the report, issued an edict abolishing the games, which GAMING AND WAGERING. It is somewhat difficult exactly were never afterwards revived. (See GLADIATORS.)
to define or adequately to distinguish these terms of allied of the other Roman games the briefest description must suffice, meaning. The word“ game " (9.0.) is applicable to most pastimes The Ludi A pollinares were established in 212 B.c., and were annual after 211 B.C.; mainly theatrical performances.' The Megalenses and many sports, irrespective of their lawful or unlawsul were in honour of the great goddess, Cybele; instituted 204 B.C.,
character. “Gaming" is now always associated with the and from 191, B.C. celebrated annually. A procession of Galli, or staking of money or money's worth on the result of a game of festival assumed a more orgiastic character. Four of Terence's pure chance, or mixed skill and chance; and “ gambling" has plays were produced at these games. The Ludi Saeculares were
the same meaning, with a suggestion that the stakes are excessive celebrated at the beginning or end of cach saeculum, a period variously or the practice otherwise reprehensible, while “wager ” and interpreted by the Romans themselves as 100 or 110 years. The * wagering " are applied to money hazarded on any contingency celebration by Augustus in 17 B.C. is famous by reason of the Ode
in which the person wagering has no interest at risk other than composed by Horace for the occasion. They were solemnized by the cmperor Philip A.D. 248. to commemorate the millennium of the
the amount at stake." Betting " is usually restricted to wagers city.
on events connected with sports or games, and “ lottery " applies 2. Private Games. These may be classified as outdoor and to speculation to obtain prizes by lot or chance. indoor games. There is naturally all the world over a much penalties were incurred by gambling, nor by keeping gaming.
At English common law no games were unlawful and do closer resemblance between the pursuits and amusements of houses, unless by reason of disorder they became a public children than of adults. Homer's children built castles in the nuisance. From very early times, however, the English statute sand, and Greek and Roman children alike had their dolls, their law has attempted to exercise control over the sports, pastimes hoops, their skipping-ropes, their hobby-horses, their kites, and amusements of the lieges. Several points of view have been their knuckle-bones and played at hopscotch, the tug-of-war, taken: (1) their competition with military exercises and training; pitch and toss, blind-man's buff, hide and seck, and kiss in (a) their attraction to workmen and servants, as drawing them the ring or at closely analogous games. Games of ball were from work to play; (3) their interference with the observance of popular in Greece from the days of Nausicaa, and at Rome there Sunday; (4) their combination with betting or gambling as were five distinct kinds of ball and more ways of playing with causing impoverishment and dishonesty in children, servants and them. For particulars the dictionary of antiquities must be
other unwary persons; (s) the use of fraud or deceit in connexion consulted. It is strange that we can find in classical literature no
with them. analogy to cricket, tennis, golf or polo, and though the follis declaring certain games unlawful either absolutely or if accom
The legislation has assumed several forms: (1) resembled our football, it was played with the hand and arm, not panied by staking or betting money or money's worth on the event with the leg. Cock-fighting was popular both at Athens and of the game; (2) declaring the keeping of establishments for Rome, and quails were kept and put to various tests to prove betting, gaming or lotteries illegal, or prohibiting the use of their pluck. Under indoor games we may distinguish games of chance and enforcement in courts of justice of gambling contracts.
streets or public places for such purposes; (3) prohibiting the games of skill, though in some of them the two elements are The carliest English legislation against games was passed in the combined. Tesserac, shaped and marked with pips like modern interests of archery and other manly sports which were believed to
A statute dice, were evolved from the tali, knuckle-bones with only four render the lieges more fit for service in war. Alat 'sides. The old Roman threw a hazard and called a main, I io have bows and arrows and to use them on Sundays unlawful.
of Richard if. (1388) directed servants and labourers lawful and just as did Charles Fox, and the vice of gambling was lashed by and holidays, and to cease from playing football, quoits, Juvenal no less vigorously than by Pope. The Latin name for a dice, putting the stone, kails and other such importune games. dice-box has survived in the fritillary butterfly and flower. A more drastic statute was passed in 1409 (11 Hen. IV. c. The primitive game of guessing the number of fingers simul. 4) and penalties were imposed in 1477 (17 Edw. IV.c. 3) on
persons allowing unlawful games to be played on their premises. taneously held up by the player and his opponent is still popular | These acts were superseded in 1541 (33 Hen. VIII. c. 9) by a statute in Italy where it is known as “ morra." The proverbial phrase passed on the petition of the bowyers, Aetchers (fléchiers), stringers for an honest man was quicum in tenebris mices, one you and arrowhead makers of the realm. This act (still partly in force)
is entitled an would trust to play at morra in the dark.
act for maintenance of archery and debarring of Athena found the suitors of Penelope seated on cowhides and 3 & 6 Hen. VIII.)' * divers and many subtil inventative and crafty
unlawful games"; and it recites that, since the last statutes (of playing at Teogol, some kind of draughts. The invention of the persons have found and daily find many and sundry new and crafty game was ascribed to Palamedes. In its earliest form it was games and plays, as logating in the fields, slide-thrift, otherwise played on a board with five lines and with five pieces. Later we
called shove-groat, as well within the city of London as elsewhere find eleven lines, and a further development was the division of and alleys for the maintenance thereof, by reason whereof archery is
in many other and divers parts of this realm, kecping houses, plays the board into squares, as in the game of Tróles (cities). In the sore decayed, and daily is like to be more minished, and divers
bowyers and fletchers, for lack of work, gone and inhabit themselves way whatsoever." An act of 172! prohibited lotteries which under in Scotland and other places out of this realm, there working and the name of sales distributed prizes in money, advowsons, land, teaching their science, to the puissance of the same, to the great com- jewels, &c., by lots, tickets, numbers or figures. Acts of 1722, 1733 fort of strangers and detriment of this realm." Accordingly penalties and 1323 prohibited any sale of tickets, receipts, chances or numbers are imposed on all persons keeping houses for unlawful games, and in foreign lotteries. The games of cards already referred to as unall persons resorting thereto (s. 8). The games specified are dicing, lawful were in 1738 declared to be " games or lotteries by cards or table (backgammon) or carding, or any game prohibited by any dice," and in 1802 the definition of lottery was extended to include statute theretofore made or any unlawful new game then or thereafter " little-goes and any game or lottery not authorized by parliament, invented or to be invented. It is further provided that “no manner drawn by dice, lots, cards, balls, or by numbers or figures or by any of artificer or craftsman of any handicralt or occupation, husband other way, contrivance or device whatsoever." This wide definition man, apprentice, labourer, servant at husbandry, journeyman or reaches raffles and sweepstakes on races. The advertisement of servant of artificer, mariners, fishermen, watermen, or any serving foreign or illegal lotteries is forbidden by acts of 1836 and 1844. man, shall play at the tables, tennis, dice, cards, bowls, clash, la 1846 art unions were excmpted from the scope of the Loriety coyting, logating or any other unlawful game out of Christmas Acts. Attempts have been made to suppress the sale in England under the pain of xxs. to be forfeit for every time; and in Christmas of forcign lottery tickets, but the task is difficult, as the post-ofhce to play at any of the said games in their masters' houses or in their distributes the advertisements, although, under the Revenue Act masters' presence; and also that no manner of person shall at any 1898, the Customs treat as prohibited goods advertisements or time play at any bowl or bowls in open places out of his garden or notices as to foreign lotteries. More success has been obtained in orchard (s. 11). The social evils of gambling (impoverishment, putting down various devices by newspapers and shopkeepers to crime, neglect of divine service) are incidentally alluded to in the attract customers by instituting." missing word competitions preamble, but only in connexion with the main purpose of the statute and“ racing coupon competitions"; by automatic machines which --the maintenance of archery. No distinction is made between give speculative chances in addition to the article obtained for the games of skill and games of chance, and no reference is made to play-coin inserted; by distribution of prizes by lot or chance to customers; ing for money, or money's worth. The Book of Sports of James 1. by holding sweepstakes at public-houses, by putting coins in sweet. (1017), republished by Charles I. (1633), was aimed at encouraging meats to tempt street urchins by cupidity to indigestion: or by certain sports on Sundays and holidays; but with the growth of gratuitous distribution of medals giving a chance of a prize from a Puritanism the royal efforts failed. The Sunday Observance Act newspaper. An absolutely gratuitous distribution of chances seems 1625 prohibits the meeting of people out of their own parishes on the not to be within the acts, but a commercial distribution is, even if Lord's Day for any sports or pastimes whatsoever. It has been individuals who benefit do not pay for their chance. attempted to enforce this act against Sunday, football. The act As already stated, the keeping of a gamning-house was at common goes on to prohibit any bear-baiting, bull-baiting, interludes, law punishable only is a public nuisance were created. The acı of common plays or other unlawful exercises or plays on Sunday by 1541 imposes penalties on persons maintaining houses for unlawful parishioners within their own parishes. According to Blackstone games. "Originally licences could be obtained for such houses, but (iv. Comm. C..13) the principal ground of complaint leading to these were abolished in 1555 (2 & 3 Phil. and Mar.). In 1698 lotteries legislation in the 18th century, was gambling in high life.' He were declared public nuisances, and in 1802 the same measure was collects the statutes made with this view, but only those still in meted out to lotteries known as little-goes. Special penalties are force need have been mentioned.
provided for those who set up lotterics or any unlawful game with The first act directed against gambling as distinct from playing cards or dice, &c. (1738, 1739, 1744). In 1751 inhabitants of a games was that of 1665 (16 Car. II. c. 7) " against deceitful, dis parish were enabled to insist on the prosecution of gaming-houses. orderly and excessive gaming," which deals with games both of The act of 1802 imposed severe penalties on persons publicly or skill and chance at which people cheat, or play otherwise than with privately keeping places for any lottery: This statute hits at the ready money, or lose more than £100 on credit. In 1698 (13 Will. deliberate or habitual use of a place for the prohibited purpose, and 111. c. 23) legislation was passed against lotteries, therein described does not touch isolated or incidental uses on a single occasion, e.g.
mischievous and unlawful games.' This act was amended in at a bazaar or show; but under an act of 1823 the sale of lottery 1710 (9 Anne c. 6), and in the same year was passed a statuto which tickets is in itself an offence. The Gaming Act 1845 facilitates the is the beginning of the modern legislation against gambling (9 Anne search of suspected gaming-houses and the proof that they are such. C. 19). It includes within its scope money won by.." gaming or It provides that, to prove any house to be a common gaming-house, playing " at cards, &c., and money won by " betting" on the sides it shall be sufficient to show that it is kept or used for playing or hands of those who game at any of the forbidden games. But it therein at any unlawful game, and that a bank is kept there by one refers to tennis and bowls as well as to games with cards and dice. or more of the players exclusively of the others, or that the chances
The following list of lawful games, sports and exercises is given in of any game played therein are not alike favourable to all the Oliphant on Horses, &c. (6th ed.): horse-races, steeplechases, trotting players, including among the players the banker or other person by matches, coursing matches, foot-races, boat-races, regattas, rowing whom the game is managed or against whom the other players matches, golf, wrestling matches, cricket, tennis, kves, rackets, stake, play or bet." Gambling, it will be noticed, is still in this bowls, skittles, quoits, curling, putting the stone, football, and definition connected with some kind of game. The act also provides presumably every bona fide variety, e.g; croquet, knurr and spell, that proof that the gaming, was for money shall not be required, hockey or any similar games. Cock-fighting is said to have been and that the presence of cards, dice and other instruments of gaming unlawful at common law, and that and other modes of setting animals shall be prima facie evidence that the house was used as a common to fight are offences against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gaming-house. The most recent statute dealing with gamingActs. The following are also lawful games: whist and other lawful houses is of 1854, which provides summary remedies against the games at cards, backgammon, bagatelle, billiards, chess, draughts keeper and makes further provisions to facilitate conviction. It and dominoes. But to allow persons to play for money, at these may be added that the Gaming Act 1845 makes winning money by games or at skittles or
puff and dart cheating at any game or wager punishable in the same way as licensed premises is gaming within the Licensing Act 1972. The obtaining money by false pretences. At the present time proceedings earlier acts declared unlawful the following games of skill: foot- for keeping gaming-houses in the sense in which that word is comball, quoits, putting the stone, kails, tennis, bowls, clash or kails, or monly understood are comparatively rare, and are usually against cloyshcayis, logating, hall bowl, slide-thrist or shove-groat and foreigners. The statutes hit both public and private gaming-houses backgammon. Backgammon and other games in 1739 played with (see the Park Club case, Jenks v. Turpin, 1884, 13 Q.B.D. 505, backgammon tables were treated as lawful in that year.' Horse- the leading case on unlawful games). The proprietor and the person racing, long under restriction, being mentioned in the act of 1665 who kecps the bank at an unlawíul game are both within the statute: and many 18th-century acts, was fully legalized in 1840 (3 & 4 the players are not, but the act of Henry VIII. is so far alive that Vict. c. 35). The act of 1541, so far as it declared any game of mere they can be put under recognizance not to frequent gaming houses. skill unlawful, was repealed by the Gaming Act 1845. Billiards is Under the Licensing Act 1872 penalties are incurred by licensed legal in private houses or clubs and in public places duly licensed. victuallers who suffer any gaming or unlawful game to be played The following games have been declared by the statutes or the judges on their premises. A single instance of playing an unlawful game to be unlawful, whether played in public or in private, unless played for money in a private house is not within the statutes (R. v. Davies, in a royal palace where the sovereign is residing: ace of hearts, 1897, 2 Q.B. 199). pharaoh (faro), basset and hazard (1738), passage, and every game In England, so far as the general public is concerned, gaming at then invented or to be invented with dice or with any other instru- cards is io a large extent superseded by betting on sports and pas. ment, engine or device in the nature of dice having one or more times, or speculation by means of lotteries or like devices. The figures or numbers thereon (1739), roulet or roly-poly (1744), and all legislation against betting eo nomine began in 1853. In the Betting lotteries (except Art Union lotteries), rouge et noir, bacccrat-banque Act 1853 it is described as a kind of gaming of late sprung up to the (1884), chemin de fer (1895), and all games at cards which are not injury and demoralization of improvident persons by the opening of games of mere skill. The definition of unlawful game does not in places called betting houses and offices, and the receiving of money clude whist played for a prize not subscribed to by the players, in advance by the owners or occupiers or their agents on promises but it does include playing cards for money in licensed premises; to pay money on events or horse races and like contingencies. This even in the private room of the licensee or with private friends act strikes at ready money betting as distinguished from betting on during closing hours.
credit (" on the nod "). It was avowedly framed to hit houses open The first attack on lotteries was in 1698, against lotteries " by to all and sundry as distinguished from private betting clubs such as dice, lots, cards, balls or any other numbers or figures or in any other' Tattersall's. The act seeks to punish persons who keep a house,
office, room or other place for the purpose (inter alia) of any person and Loans (Infants) Act 1892. passed at the instance of the late betting with persons " resorting thereto or of receiving deposits Lord Herschell, makes it a misdemeanour to send, with a view to in consideration of bets on contingencies relating to horse-races or profit, to any one known by the sender to be an infant, a document other races, fights, games, sports or exercises. The act especially inviting him to enter into a betting or wagering transaction. The excepts persons who receive or hold prizes or stakes to be paid to act is intended to protect lads at school and college from temptation the winner of a race or lawful sport, game or exercise, or to the owner by bookmakers. of a horse engaged in a race (s. 6). Besides the penalties incurred by keeping such places, the keeper is liable to repay to depositors the
We must now turn from the public law with respect to gaming sums deposited (s. 5).
to the treatment of bets and wagers from the point of view of By the Licensing Act 1872, penalties are incurred by licensed persons their obligation on the individuals who lose them А
Wagerieg. Act 1853. There has been a great deal of litigation as to the meaning wager may be defined as “ a promise to give money or and scope of this enactment, and a keen contest between the police money's worth upon the determination or ascertainment of an and the Anti-gambling League (which has been very active in the uncertain event " (Anson, Law of Contract, 11th ed., p. 206). The matter) and the betting confraternity, in which much ingenuity event may be uncertain because it has not happened or because has been shown by the votaries of sport in devising means for evading its happening is not ascertained; but to make the bargain a the terms of the enactment. The consequent crop of legal decisions shows a considerable divergence of judicial opinion. The House
wager the determination of the event must be the sole condition of Lords has held that the Tattersall's enclosure or betting ring on a of the bargain. According to the view taken in England of the racecourse is not a "place" within the statute; and members of a common law, bets or wagers were legally enforceable, subject to bona-fide club who bet with each other in the club are not subject certain rules dictated by considerations of public policy, e.g. to the penalties of the act. But the word "place" has been held to include a public-house bar, an archway, a small plot of waste.
that they did not lead to immorality or breach of the peace, or ground, and a bookmaker's stand, and even a bookmaker's big expose a third person to ridicule. The courts were constantly umbrella, and it is difficult to extract from the judges any clear called upon to enforce wagers and constantly exercised their indication of the nature of the places" to which the act applies. ingenuity to discover excuses for refusing. A writer on the law of when the stake is deposited with the bookmaker, and only to places contracts? discovers here the origin of that principle of “public used for betting with persons physically resorting thereto; so that policy ” which plays so important a part in English law. Wagerbets by letter, telegram or telephone do not fall within its penalties. ing contracts were rejected because the contingencies on which The arm of the law has been found long enough to punish as thieves they depended tended to create interests hostile to the common " welshers," who receive and make off with deposits on bets which
weal. they never mean to pay if they lose. The act of 1853 makes it an
A bet on the life of the emperor Napoleon was declared offence to publish advertisements showing that a house is kept for void because it gave one of the parties an interest in keeping the betting. It was supplemented in 1874 by an act imposing penalties king's enemy alive, and also because it gave the other an interest on persons advertising as to betting. But this has been read as
in compassing his death by unlawful means. A bet as to the applying to bets falling within the act of 1853, and it does not prohibit the publication of betting news or sporting tips in news
amount of the hop-duty was held to be against public policy, papers. A few newspapers do not publish these aids to ruin, and in because it tended to expose the condition of the king's revenue to some public libraries the betting news is obliterated, as it attracts all the world. A bet between two hackney coachmen, as to which crowds of undesirable readers. The act of 1853 has been to a great of them should be selected by a gentleman for a particular them to Holland and other places. But it has been deemed ex journey, was void because it tended to expose the customer to pedient to legislate against betting in the streets, which has been their importunities. When no such subtleiy could be invented, found too attractive to the British work man.
the law, however reluctantly, was compelled to enforce the By the Metropolitan Streets Acts 1867 any three or more persons fulfilment of a wager. Actions on wagers were not favoured by assembled together in any part of any street in the city of London or county of London for the purpose of betting and
the judges; and though a judge could not refuse to try such an Street
deemed to be obstructing the street, may be arrested action, he could, and often did, postpone it until after the decision bettlag.
without warrant by a constable and fined a sum not ex- of more important cases. ceeding 15. The Vagrancy Act 1873 (36 & 37 Vict. c. 38) provides Parliament gradually intervened to confine the common law that “Every person playing or betting by way of wagering or gaming within narrower limits, both in commercial and non-commercial on any street, road, highway or other open and public place, or in any open place to which the public have, or are permitted to have, wagers, and both by general and temporary enactments. An access, at or with any table or instrument of gaming, or any coin, card, example of the latter was 7 Anne c. 16 (1710), avoiding all wagers token or other article used as an instrument or means of gaming, and securities relating to the then war with France. The earliest at any game or pretended game of chance, shall be deemed a rogue general enactment was 16 Car. II. c. 7 (1665), prohibiting the and vagabond." repress the practice of playing pitch and toss in the streets, which recovery of a sum exceeding £100 lost in games or pastimes, or in had become a public nuisance in the colliery districts. The powers betting on the sides or hands of the players, and avoiding securities of making by-laws for the peace, order and good government of for money so lost. .Anne c. to avoided securities for such wagers their districts, possessed by' municipal boroughs--and since 1888 by county councils-and extended in 1899 to the new London
for any amount, even in the hands of bona-fide holders for value boroughs, have in certain cases been exercised by making by-laws without notice, and enabled the loser of £10 or upwards to sue for forbidding any person to frequent or use any street or other public and recover the money he had lost within three months of the place, on behall either of himself or any other person, for the
purpose loss. Contracts of insurance by way of gaming and wagering of bookmaking, or betting, or wagering, or agreeing to bet or wager
were declared void, in the case of marine risks in 1746, and in the with any person, or paying, or receiving or settling bets." This and similar by-laws have been held valid, but were found inadequate, case of other risks in 1774. It was not until 1845 that a general and by the Street Betting Act 1906 (6 Edw. VII. c. 43), passed by the rule was made excluding wagers from the courts. Section 18 of efforts of the late Lord Davey, it is made an offence for any person the Gaming Act 1845 (passed after a parliamentary inquiry in to frequent or loiter in a street of public place on behalf of liimself or of any other person for the purpose of bookmaking or betting or
1844 as to gaming) enacted “that all contracts or agreements, wagering or agreeing to bet or wager or paying or receiving or settling whether by parole or in writing, by way of gaming or wagering bets. The punishment for a first offence is fine up to £10, for a second shall be null and void, and that no suit shall be brought or mainfine up to £20, and the punishment is still higher in the case of a third tained in any court of law or equity for recovering any sum of or subsequent offence, or where the accused while committing the ofience has any betting transaction with a person under the age of
money or valuable thing alleged to be won upon any wager, or sixteen. The act does not apply to ground used for a course for
which shall have been deposited in the hands of any person to horse-racing or adjacent thereto on days on which races take place; abide the event on which any wager shall have been made; but the expression public place includes a public park, garden or provided always that this enactment shall not be deemed to apply sea-beach, and any unenclosed ground to which the public for the
io any subscription or contribution, or agreement to subscribe or time have unrestricted access, and enclosed places other than public parks or gardens to which the public have a restricted right of contribute, for or towards any plate, prize or sum of money to be access with or without payment, if the owners or persons controlling awarded to the winner or winners of any lawful game, sport, the place exhibit conspicuously a notice prohibiting betting therein. pastime or exercise.” A constable may arrest without warrant persons offending and seize all books, papers, cards and other articles relating to betting found
The construction put on this enactment enabled turf commission in their possession, and these articles may be forfeited on conviction.
Leake on Contracts (4th ed.). p. 529. Besides the above provision against betting with infants the Betting
· Pollock, Contracts (7th ed.), p. 313.
agents to recover from their principals bets made and paid for deposited by the “client ” has been treated as a mere security for them. But the Gaming Act 1892 rendered null and void any performance of the bargain, and recoverable is sued for in time, promise, express or implied, to repay to any person any sum of i.c. before it is used for the purpose for which it is deposited. money paid by him under, or in respect of, any contract or agree- There was not up to 1909 any authoritative decision as to the ment rendered null and void by the Gaming Act 1845, or to pay application of the Gaming Act 1892 to transactions on the London any sum of money by way of commission, fee, reward, or other- Stock Exchange through a stockbroker who is a member of wise in respect of any such contract or agreement, or of any “the House "; but the same principle appears to be applicable services in relation thereto or in connexion therewith, and where the facts of the particular deal clearly indicate that the provided that no action should be brought or maintained to intention was to make a mere time bargain, or to pay or receive recover any such sum. By the combined effect of these two differences only. The form, however, of all bargains on the enactments the recovery by the winner from the loser or stake- Stock Exchange is calculated and intended to preclude people holder of bets or of stakes on games falling within s. 18 of the from setting up a gaming act defence: as each contract entitles Gaming Act 1845 is absolutely barred; but persons who have the holder to call for delivery or acceptance of the stock named deposited money to abide the event of a wager are not debarred therein. In the event of the bankruptcy of a person involved in from crying off and recovering their stake before the event is speculations, the bankruptcy officials exclude from proof against decided, or even after the decision of the event and before the the estate all claims founded on any dealing in the nature of a stake is paid over to the winner;' and a man who pays a bet for a wager; and on the same principle the bankrupt's trustee canfriend, or a turf commission agent or other agent who pays a bet not recover sums won by the bankrupt by gaming transactions, for a principal, has now no legal means of recovering the money, but unexhausted "cover" on uncompleted transactions may be unless some actual deceit was used to induce him to pay in ignor-recovered back. ance that it was a bet. But a person who has received a bet on Besides the enactments which prevent the recovery of bets or account of another can still, it would seem, be compelled to pay wagers by action there has also been a good deal of legislation it over, and the business of a betting man is treated as so far dealing with securities given in respect of " gambling lawful that income-tax is charged on its profits, and actions
The earliest (1665) dealt with persons playing debts.
Gambling between parties in such a business for the taking of partnership at games otherwise than for ready money and losing accounts have been entertained.
£100 or more on credit, and not only prohibited the winner from The effect of these enactments on speculative dealings in shares recovering the overplus but subjected him to penaltics for winning or other commodities calls for special consideration. It seems to it. An act of 1710 (9 Anne c. 19) declared utterly void all notes, be correct to define a wagering contract as one in which two bills, bonds, judgments, mortgages or other securities where the persons, having opposite opinions touching the issue of an event consideration is ior money or valuable security won by gaming (past or future), of which they are uncertain, mutually agree that at cards, stocks or other games, or by betting on the sides or on the determination of the event one shall win, and the other hands of the gamesters, or for reimbursing money knowingly shall pay over a sum of money, or other stake, neither party advanced for such gaming or betting. This act draws a distincbaving any other interest in the event than the sum or stake to tion between gaming and other bets or wagers. Under this act be won or lost. This definition does not strike at contracts in the securities were void even in the hands of innocent transferees. futures," under which the contractors are bound to give or take In 1841 the law was altered, declaring such-securities not void delivery at a date fixed of commodities not in existence at the date but made upon an “illegal” consideration. The effect of the of the contract. Nor are such contracts rendered void because change is to enable an innocent transferee for value, of a bill, note they are entered into for purposes of speculation; in fact, their or cheque, to recover on a security worthless in the hands of the legality is expressly recognized by the Sale of Goods Act 1893. original taker (sce s. 30 of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882), but to Contracts of insurance are void if made by way of gaming or put on him the burden of proving that he is a bona fide holder wagering on events in which the assured has no interest present for value. In the case of a negotiable security given for a wager of prospective whether the matter be life or fire risks (1774) not within the acts of 1710 or 1841 (1.3. a bet on a contested or maritime risks (Marine Insurance Act 1906). An act election), but within the act of 1845, a third person holding it known as Sir John Barnard's Act (7 Geo. II. c. 8, entitled would be presumed to be a holder for value and on the person "An act to prevent the infamous practice of stock jobbing") prima facie liable under the security falls the burden of proving prohibited contracts for liberty to accept or refuse any public that no consideration was given for it. It has been decided after stocks or securities and wagers relating to public stocks, but considerable divergence of judicial opinion that an action will not this act was repealed in 1860, and contracts to buy or sell stocks lie in England in favour of the drawee against the drawer of a and shares are not now void because entered into by way of cheque drawn at Algiers on an English bank, partly for losses at speculation and not for purposes of investment. The only limita- baccarat, and partly for money borrowed to continue playing the tion on such contracts is that contained in Leeman's Act (30 & game. The ground of decision was in substance that the Gaming 31 Vict. c. 29) as to contracts for the sale of shares in joint-Acts of 1845 and 1892 as the lex fori prohibit the English courts stock banking companies. But a transaction in any commodity, from enforcing gaming debts wherever incurred (Moulis v. though in form commercial, falls within the Gaming Acts if in Owen, 1907, 1 K.B. 746). substance the transaction is a mere wager on the price of the
Scotland.-A Scots act of 1621 c. 14 (said still to be in force) commodity at a date fixed by the contract. It does not matter
forbids playing at cards or dice in any common house of hostelry,
and directs that sums over 100 marks won on any one day at carding whether the dealing is in stocks or in cotton, nor whether it is
or dicing or at wagers on horse races should be at once sent to the entered into on the Stock Exchange, or on any produce exchange, treasurer of the kirk session. The Lottery Acts, except that of 1698; or elsewhere; nor is it conclusive in favour of the validity of the apply to Scotland; and the Betting House Act 1853 was extended bargain that it purports to bind the parties to take or deliver the land, and gaming houses can be suppressed under the Burgh Police article dealt in. The courts are entitled to examine into the true
Act 1892, and street betting, lotteries or gaming under that of 1903. nature of the transaction; and where the substantial intention of The Scots courts refuse to try actions on wagers, as being sponthe parties is merely to gamble in difcrences, to make what is
siones ludicrae, unbecoming the dignity
of the courts. 9 Anne c. 19 called “ a time bargain," the fact that it is carried out by a series and 5 & 6 Will
: 1V.C. 41 extend to Scotland, but the weight of
judicial opinion is that the Gaming Act 1845 docs not. of contracts, regular and valid in form, will not be sufficient to
Ireland.-The British Acts against lotteries were extended to exclude the application of the Gaming Acts.
Ireland in 1780, and the general law as to gaming is the same in In very many cases transactions with “outside stockbrokers "or both countries. " bucket shops ” have been held to be mere wagers, although the
British Possessions.-Certain of the earlier imperial acts are in
force in British possessions, e.g. the act of 9 Annc c. 19, which is in contracts purported to give “put " or "call" options to demand force in Ontario subject to amendments made in 1902. In the delivery or acceptance of the stocks dealt with; and the cover Straits Settlements, Jamaica and British Guiana there are ordinBurge v. Ashby, 1900, 1 Q.B. 744.
ances directed against gambling and lotteries, and particularly