Gaming Act 1845

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1845 c. 109
Anno Regni VICTORI, Britanniarum Regin,Octavo & Nono. An Act to amend the Law concerning Games and Wagers.

(8 & 9 Vict.) C A P. CIX.

[8th August 1845]

'WHEREAS the Laws heretofore made in restraint of unlawful Gaming have been found of no Avail to prevent the Mischiefs which may happen therefrom, and also apply to sundry Games of Skill from which the like Mischiefs cannot arise:' Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authorityof the same, That so much of an Act passed in the Thirty-third Year of the Reign of KingHenry the Eighth, intituled The Bill for maintaining Artillery, and the debarring of unlawful Games , whereby any Game of mere Skill, such as Bowling, Coyting, Cloyshcayls, Half Bowl, Tennis, or the like, is declared an unlawful Game, or which enacts any Penalty for playing at any such Game of Skill as aforesaid, or which enacts any Penalty for lacking Bows or Arrows, or for not making and continuing Butts, or which regulates the making, selling, or using of Bows and Arrows, and also so much of the said Act as requires the Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables, and other head Officers within every City, Borough, and Town within this Realm, to make search weekly, or at the farthest Once a Month, in all Places where Houses, Alleys, Plays, or Places of Dicing, Carding, or Gaming shall be suspected to be had, kept, and maintained, shall be repealed, and also so much of the said Act as makes it lawful for every Master to license his or their Servants, and for every Nobleman and other having Manors, Lands, Tenements, or other yearly Profits for Term of Life, in his own Right or in his Wife's Right, to the yearly Value of an Hundred Pounds or above, to command, appoint, or license, by his or their Discretion, his or their Servants or Family of his or their House or Houses to play at Cards, Dice, or Tables, or any unlawful Game, as therein more fully set forth, shall be repealed; and that no such Commandment, Appointment, or Licence shall avail any Person to exempt him from the Danger or Penalty of playing at any unlawful Game or in any common Gaming House.

S-II What shall be sufficient Evidence that a House is a common Gaming House.

II What shall be sufficient Evidence that a House is a common Gaming House.

II. 'And whereas Doubts have arisen whether certain Houses, alleged or reputed to be opened for the Use of the Subscribers only, or not open to all Persons desirous of using the same, are to be deemed common Gaming Houses;' be it declared and enacted, That, in default of other Evidence proving any House or Place to be a common Gaming House, it shall be sufficient, in support of the Allegation in any Indictment or Information that any House or Place is a common Gaming House, to prove that such House or Place is kept or used for playing therein at any unlawful Game, and that a Bank is kept there by One or more of the Players exclusively of the others, or that the Chances of any Game played therein are not alike favourable to all the Players, including among the Players the Banker or other Person by whom the Game is managed, or against whom the other Players stake, play, or bet; and every such House or Place shall be deemed a common Gaming House such as is contrary to Law and forbidden to be kept by the said Act of KingHenry the Eighth, and by all other Acts containing any Provision against unlawful Games or Gaming Houses.

S-III Power of Justices may be exercised under Warrant.

III Power of Justices may be exercised under Warrant.

III. And be it enacted, That in every Case (except within the Metropolitan Police District) in which the Justices of Peace in every Shire, and Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, and other bend Officers within every City, Town, and Borough, within this Realm, now have by Law Authority to enter into any House, Room, or Place where unlawful Games shall be suspected to be holden, it shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace, upon Complaint made before him on Oath that there is Reason to suspect any House, Room, or Place to be kept or used as a common Gaming House, to give Authority, by special Warrant under his Hand, when in his Discretion he shall think fit, to any Constable, to enter, with such Assistance as may be found necessary, into such House, Room, or Place, in like Manner as might have been done by such Justices, Mayors, Sheriffs Bailiffs, or other head Officers, and, if necessary, to use Force for making such Entry, whether by breaking open Doors or otherwise, and to arrest, search, and bring before a Justice of Peace all such Persons found therein as might have been arrested therein by such Justice of Peace had he been personally present; and all such Persons shall be dealt with according to Law, as if they had been arrested in such House, Room, or Place by the Justice before whom they shall be so brought; and any such Warrant may be in the Form given in the First Schedule annexed to this Act.

S-IV Penalties on Gaming House Keepers, &c.

IV Penalties on Gaming House Keepers, &c.

IV. And be it enacted, That the Owner or Keeper of any common Gaming House, and every Person having the Care or Management thereof, and also every Banker, Croupier, and other Person who shall act in any Manner in conducting the Business of any common Gaming House, shall, on Conviction thereof, by his own Confession, or by the Oath of One or more credible Witnesses, before any Two Justices of the Peace, beside any Penalty or Punishment to which he may be liable under the Provisions of the said Act of KingHenry the Eighth, be liable to forfeit and pay such Penalty, not more than One hundred Pounds, as shall be adjudged by the Justices before whom he shall be convicted, or, in the Discretion of the Justices before whom he shall be convicted, may be committed to the House of Correction, with or without hard Labour, for any Time not more than Six Calendar Months; and on Nonpayment of any Penalty so adjudged, and of the reasonable Costs and Charges attending the Conviction, the same shall be levied by Distress and Sale of the Goods and Chattels of the Offender, by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of One of the convicting Justices: Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any Proceeding by Indictment against the Owner or Keeper or other Person having the Care or Management of a common Gaming House; but no Person who shall have been summarily convicted of any such Offence shall be liable to be proceeded against by Indictment for the same Offence.

S-V Proof of Gaming for Money, &c. not necessary for Information.

V Proof of Gaming for Money, &c. not necessary for Information.

V. And be it enacted, That it shall not be necessary, in support of any Information for Gaming in, or suffering any Games or Gaming in, or for keeping or using, or being concerned in the Management or Conduct of a common Gaming House, to prove that any Person found playing at any Game was playing for any Money, Wager, or Stake.

S-VI Commissioners of Police may authorize Superintendent, &c. to enter Gaming Houses and seize all Instruments of Gaming and take into Custody all Persons found therein.

VI Commissioners of Police may authorize Superintendent, &c. to enter Gaming Houses and seize all Instruments of Gaming and take into Custody all Persons found therein.

VI. And be it enacted, That if any Superintendent belonging to the Metropolitan Police Force shall report in Writing to the Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis that there are good Grounds for believing, and that he does believe, that any House, Room, or Place within the Metropolitan Police District is kept or used as a common Gaming House, it shall be lawful for either of the said Commissioners, by Order in Writing, to authorize the Superintendent to enter any such House, Room, or Place, with such Constables as shall be directed by the Commissioner to accompany him, and, if necessary, to use Force for the Purpose of effecting such Entry, whether by breaking open Doors or otherwise, and to take into Custody all Persons who shall be found therein, and to seize all Tables and Instruments of Gaming found in such House or Premises, and also to seize all Monies and Securities for Money found therein.

S-VII Police Superintendent may search for Instruments of Gaming.

VII Police Superintendent may search for Instruments of Gaming.

VII. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the Police Superintendent making such Entry as aforesaid in obedience to any such Order of One of the Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis, with the Assistance of any Constable or Constable accompanying him, to search all Parts of the House, Room, or Place which he shall have so entered where he shall suspect that Tables or Instruments of Gaming are concealed, and all Persons whom he shall find therein, and to seize all Tables and Instruments of Gaming which he shall so find.

S-VIII What shall be deemed Evidence of Gaming.

VIII What shall be deemed Evidence of Gaming.

VIII. And be it enacted, That where any Cards, Dice, Balls, Counters, Tables, or other Instruments of Gaming used in playing any unlawful Game shall be found in any House, Room, or Place suspected to be used as a common Gaming House, and entered under a Warrant or Order issued under the Provisions of this Act, or about the Person of any of those who shall be found therein, it shall be Evidence, until the contrary be made to appear, that such House, Room, or Place is used as a common Gaming House, and that the Persons found in the Room or Place where such Tables or Instruments of Gaming shall have been found were playing therein, although no Play was actually going on in the Presence of the Superintendent or Constable entering the same, under a Warrant or Order issued under the Provisions of this Act, or in the Presence of those Persons by whom he...

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