Todays Best, Daily Racing Form, 1906-03-07

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TODAYS BEST. At City Park Colloquy, first race. At Crescent Park Glole Runner, first race. At Ascot Park Ila, third race. At Oakland Blagg. third race. At Oaklawn Pontotoc, fourth race. Rest of tlio day Blagg. A century ago betting was not considered immoral nor was it unlawful in any but perhaps one or two of the New England States. , ,, Meii honored in the foundation Betting and the f Uip lJnUwl statps w:,ere1 Law Today. ou occasion 0U-P1.jng, without thought of lioing engaged in the commission of an act unbefitting a good citizen. George Washington played cards for money and kept an accurate account of his winnings and losses, bred and raqed thoroughbreds and backed his racers like a gentleman and none thought it wrong. In the progress of time sentiment has changed and in most of the states of the Union betting is forbidden by law. Yet It is matter of common knowledge Hint such laws are futile, the plain reason being that the men who passed the laws, the men charged with their enforcement and the great mass of men who, as good citizens think- it is right that such laws should be a part of the statutes, bet freely on this, that or the other tiling as occasion offers. It -Is a good tiling in the abstract, but to be evaded in the concrete when a prospect of gain appeals for action. The whole thing is an illustration of the avidity with which the American citizen passes laws for the conservation of his neighbors morals, with the mental reservations in respect to his own freedom of action.- It is really hypocrisy Of the rankest kind. There are some thoughtful persons who think such legislation is not on the most useful lines, as witness the following interesting communication recently published in the New York Sun: To the Editor of The Sun Sir: I have noted in i this mornings Sun an article headed "Peter De s Laey an Advocate of the Anti-Racetrack Rill." The entire discussion seems to relate to the place where the bet is made and apparently not to the legality of betting. I think that if either reformers or defenders are sincere they should confine themselves to an establishment . or an overthrow of a bet, considered to be . legal by actual practice at the racetrack, and not : tt a technical discussion of the place where the bet is made. It seems to be generally assumed that a bet is not legal, yet there is a decision on record i where the payment of a bet was enforced by a court t o? law. In an English case Hampden vs. Walsh 1, Queens Bench Division, ISO the court held that t although all contracts by way of wagering were . null and void, as the plaintiff one who had made a bet, had demanded his deposit that is, the stakes I back before it had been paid over, he was entitled I to judgment. It seems, then, that where a wager is i action can be brought against the loser or stakeholder by the winner, but a man who has simply deposited his money with a stakeholder is not In 1 the same predicament. It makes no difference whether he waits until , . the event upon which his wager depends comes off; as long as he revokes the authority of the stakeholder and repudiates the wager before payment is b made he can recover. As is often the case in law, there seems to be. authority for an almost opposite point of view. In 1 another English case Read vs. Anderson 13, Queens Bench Division, 770 it appears that Anderson authorized Read, a member of Tattersalls, to make a bet for him and that Read did so. The main question of dispute at once arose. Read i holding that as soon as he had niade the bet the I authority given him by Anderson became irrevocable; while Anderson held that as he notified Read before Read paid the bet, but ilfter the event upon which the bet depended had been decided, he Anderson, was not liable to Read for the amount of the bet, which, having been lost, Read was compelled to pay or be expelled from Tattersalls, which would ruin his business as a betting commissioner. The court held that the employment of an agent tc make a bet in his own name in behalf of his principal implied an authority to pay the bet if lost, and consequently the said authority became irrevocable as soon as the let was made. The decision means that Anderson had had to reimburse Read for the payment of the let, and consequently the court practically compelled Anderson to pay the bet. This is one instance which 1 have happened to come across where the court compelled the payment of a bet; so that it seems there are circumstances where a bet is legal. It is true that both the cases mentioned are English, but it seems certainly safe and sane for the people of New York state to insist that betting be declared either illegal or legal. If it is illegal, as seems to be the general impression, it ought not to go on at all. Why not make and acknowledge betting to be legal? It could then be more easily controlled. FREDERICK 0. LACEY. New York, February 2.!.

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