Recent Book: Betting and Gaming: The New Law of Betting and Gaming

AuthorKeith Jempson
Date01 May 1961
Publication Date01 May 1961
SubjectRecent Book
J. P.
and L. L.
The New Law
Betting and Gaming. Butterworths
THIS IS A REPRINT of Butterworths' Annotated Legislation Service, with much to
attract the police reader. The generous introduction contains a table of 90 cases
and a list of 26 offences under the 1960 Act, with maximum penalties on summary
conviction and on indictment. Among the 17 pages of index, 15 separate refer-
ences to police are included, and the volume of 271pages is divided into three
sections. Book I occupies almost half of the narrative space, contains 10 chapters
on betting, nine on gaming, and five paragraphs on amusements with prizes.
Book II reproduces the 1960 Act and the three statutory instruments made
under it; each section and schedule is annotated, with explanations of terms
employed, references to previous legislation, and reproductions of the prescribed
forms. Book III is an appendix, dealing with 23 other enactments, carefully
checked and relevant to the main theme, with further notes and forms.
This production conveys the impression of a compact volume of information
organized into a small space, but on closer examination the reader may be
surprised to find
In the chariot races in ancient Rome, the successful chariot
drivers were honoured and feted, the victors receiving a sum of money, and,
they were slaves, sometimes their freedom." (p. 9 ). Or, " Men and women of
high social standing would make large sums by holding the bank at an evening
session of such gaming, and the police appeared unable, or unwilling, to take
action against them." (p. 85). These are random samples, quoted out of context,
but they do illustrate the distended style of the narrative.
It seems unnecessary to give ephemeral details of the Racecourse Betting
Control Board or the National Greyhound Racing Club, the turnover of the
tote and its benefit to horse-racing, the names of members of various Royal
Commissions, or to list the members of Standing Committee D, who took part
in the 25 sittings to consider the Betting and Gaming Bill of 1960.
Certainly it is valuable to police
the background to an important new
Act of Parliament should be readily available. Material from Royal Commission,
Select Committee and Hansard Reports, tends to sharpen interpretation and
enforcement, which police are so often obliged to put into practical effect without
immediate guidance or legal precedent; but, in a volume of this kind, a digest
of that information seems preferable to verbatim quotation and reference to
personalities. A chronological bibliography, with a separate section for official
reports, would have been more useful. It is also irritating to find that the Com-
said, pointed out, recommended, considered, held, added, thought, did
not recommend, were in favour, and
(at least one of each) on two
consecutive pages! (30 &31).
However, these are but small deviations from the course along which the safe
hands of Mr. J. P. Eddy so expertly steer us; he has given us the most useful
book on the subject to date. Perhaps, when the promised Act of Consolidation
arrives, we can look forward to a revised text compressed into a similar form,
something really to become a firm favourite with the licensed bookmaker and
his lawyer, the punter and the policeman alike.
1961 235

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