Pool Betting Act 1954

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1954 c. 33


Pool Betting Act , 1954

(2 & 3 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 33

An Act to regulate the disposal of moneys and to provide for the publication of certain accounts and information in connection with pool betting; to permit ready money bets in certain circumstances by way of pool betting conducted by post and in that connection to repeal the Ready Money Football Betting Act, 1920, and to restrict the application of the Betting Act, 1853; and for purposes connected therewith.

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 authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Promoters of pool betting to be registered.

1 Promoters of pool betting to be registered.

(1) No person shall carry on any business involving the receiving or negotiating of bets made by way of pool betting unless he is registered under this Act with the council of the county or county borough within which the place, or the principal place, at which he carries on that business is situate, and the registration remains in force.

A person registered as aforesaid whose registration remains in force is hereafter in this Act referred to as a ‘registered pool promoter’, and the council with whom a registered pool promoter is or is required to be registered under this Act is hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the local authority’.

(2) If any person makes an application to the local authority for registration under this Act, the local authority shall, on payment of the appropriate registration fee, register him accordingly in a register to be kept by them for the purposes of this Act and notify him in writing that they have done so.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) of this section, the local authority may, after giving the person in question an opportunity of being heard, refuse to register a person under this section or revoke a person's registration if that person or, where that person is a corporate body, any director or manager thereof, has been convicted of any offence under this Act or of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty.

(4) If, after a person has been registered under this section, the local authority, after giving him an opportunity of being heard, are satisfied that he does not intend to carry on a pool betting business or that he has permanently ceased to carry on pool betting business or that the place or principal place at which he carries on his pool betting business will not be, or has ceased to be, in their area, they shall revoke his registration.

(5) Where registration has been refused or revoked under this section, the local authority shall forthwith notify the person in question of the refusal or revocation, and he may appeal in accordance with the provisions of the Quarter Sessions Act, 1849, to the next practicable court of quarter sessions having jurisdiction in the county, borough or place in which the place or principal place at which he carries on or is intending to carry on his business is situate and held not less than twenty-one clear days after the giving to him of the notice of the refusal or revocation.

In any case arising under this subsection, the notice of appeal shall be given to the local authority and to the clerk of the peace, and sections seven and eight of the Summary Jurisdiction (Appeals) Act, 1933 (which prescribe the courts for the hearing of certain appeals to quarter sessions), shall apply as they apply in relation to an appeal from a court of summary jurisdiction.

(6) Where a local authority revoke a registration under this section, then, until the time within which notice of appeal under this section may be given has expired and, if such notice is duly given, until the determination of the appeal, the registration shall be deemed to continue in force, and if the court of quarter sessions confirm the decision of the local authority, the court may, if they think fit, order that the registration shall continue in force for a further period not exceeding two months from the date of the order.

(7) If a registered pool promoter dies, his registration shall, for the period of three months beginning with the date of the death, enure for the benefit of his legal personal representative.

(8) On the first day of January in the year nineteen hundred and fifty-six and every subsequent year the appropriate continuation fee shall become payable to the local authority by every person who is for the time being a registered pool promoter, and any such fee which remains unpaid after the date on which it becomes payable may be recovered by the local authority as a debt.

(9) For the purposes of this section the appropriate registration fee and the appropriate continuation fee shall be fees of such amounts respectively (not in either case exceeding fifty pounds) as may be fixed annually by the local authority for the whole of their area; and different amounts may be so fixed by any such authority in respect of businesses of different classes.

S-2 Appointment, etc., of the accountant.

2 Appointment, etc., of the accountant.

(1) The local authority shall, in the case of each registered pool promoter, appoint a person, being a qualified auditor, to exercise and perform, in relation to that registered pool promoter, the powers and duties conferred and imposed by the subsequent provisions of this Act.

(2) The person so appointed (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘the accountant’) shall hold office on such terms (including terms as to remuneration) as may be determined by the local authority after consultation with the registered pool promoter.

(3) The remuneration of the accountant shall be payable by the local authority, but the remuneration paid to the accountant by the local authority shall be recoverable by the local authority as a debt due to them from the registered pool promoter.

(4) In this section ‘remuneration’ includes any sums paid or to be paid to the accountant in respect of his expenses.

S-3 Requirements as to conduct of pool betting business.

3 Requirements as to conduct of pool betting business.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the pool betting business carried on by any registered pool promoter shall comply with the following requirements—

(a ) it shall take the form of the promotion of competitions for prizes for making forecasts as to sporting or other events, the bets being entries in the competitions and the winnings in respect of the bets being the prizes or shares in the prizes;

(b ) each bet shall be an entry in a particular competition;

(c ) the stakes and the winnings shall be wholly in money;

(d ) in each competition, the prizes shall be equally available for all the bets and accordingly the question which bets qualify for, or for shares in, the prize or prizes and, save so far as it depends on the amounts staked, the amounts of the respective shares in the prizes, shall be determined solely by the relative success of the forecasts embodied in the respective bets;

(e ) the total amount payable by way of winnings shall, in the case of each competition, be the total amount of the stakes in respect of entries in that competition less such percentage of that total amount as may be determined by the promoter, being the same percentage in respect of all his competitions which depend on the same events or events taking place on the same day;

(f ) the rules applying to the competition shall be notified to the accountant before the first of the relevant sporting or other events takes place.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in paragraph (d ) or paragraph (e ) of subsection (1) of this section—

(a ) the rules applicable to any competition may provide that the winnings shall not, in the case of any bet, exceed a stated amount and that any resulting decrease in the total amount payable in the case of the winning bets qualifying for, or for shares in, a prize in the competition shall be applied in increasing the amount payable in the case of the winning bets qualifying for, or for shares in, another prize, or other prizes, in that competition;

(b ) the rules applicable to any competition may provide that, in specified circumstances, one or more of the prizes shall not be paid and that the amount which would have been payable in the case of the winning bets qualifying for, or for shares in, that prize or those prizes shall be applied in increasing the amount payable in the case of the winning bets qualifying for, or for shares in, another prize or other prizes in that competition;

(c ) the rules applicable to any competition may provide—

(i) for the winnings of winning bets (being bets staking the minimum permissible under the rules of the competition) being increased or decreased (with a view to facilitating payment) by not more than sixpence; and

(ii) consequentially, for the winnings of winning bets (being bets staking more than the said minimum) being increased or decreased by not more than a proportionately greater sum than sixpence,

and the total amount payable by way of winnings in the case of the competition may exceed or fall short of the amount specified in the said paragraph (e ) to such extent as is reasonably necessary having regard to any such provision;

(d ) if it is found that a bet which ought to have been treated as a winning bet has been inadvertently overlooked, the promoter may pay to the person making that bet the sum paid by him to other persons making comparable bets or, if there are no comparable bets, such sum as may be proper, and any sum paid under this paragraph shall be left out of account for the purposes of the said paragraph (e ).

(3) Nothing in paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as preventing—

(a ) several bets being made by a person relating to the same...

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