Regulation of Betting in France: Great Revenue Derived and Useful Purposes to Which it is Devoted, Daily Racing Form, 1908-03-03


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[ REGULATION OF BETTING IN FRANCE. Great Revenue Derived and Useful Purposes to Which It Is Devoted. Writing under date of February IS the Paris cor respondent of Sporting Life gives some interesting details of governmental regulation of betting on French tracks, as well as of results attained ami says: "Over and over again I have corrected a misapprehension that exists very extensively in England as to the distribution of the percentage levied on pari liiutuel investments. This is s |.er cent. tit this. 4 per cent, is allowed for working expenses. 2 per cent, is devoted to charities. 1 per cent, goes to make a fund from which the premiums to breed ers are paid, and the other 1 | er cent, is used for providing water to districts that have at present no regular water supply. The government takes no port ion of this money. I am. therefore, surprised to see a contributor to. on- of your daily papers writing of the very large revenue derived by the French government from the pari-inittiiol: especially as the writer in question is usually so well informed as to French racing affairs. The government last year tried to annex for its war budget some of the money now attributed to expenses, but the bill was not carried. "When I mention that employment is given to over 2.000 otticials and clerks by the pari-mutuel system it will be seen that a large sum of money is rcipiircd for expenses, and if there is any snr plus the race societies have always employed it in augmenting the prize motley. The French govern ment spends a lot of money every year on the Na tional Stud farms, but such money is voted quite independent of the parl-mutuol. and the fees charge-! for the services of the stallions at the various stud farms are generally sufficient for maintenance. 1 shall be dealing shortly with this question in an exhaustive manner, and will point out how thoroughly the government does its work, and how the race course is made to serve the national needs, both for military and agricultural purposes. "The full r -port of the Consultative Committee on the betting question lias now beeu published, and it will be found exactly to conform to the forecast I gave last week. No fewer than tw lve propositions were submitted to the committee. The Salon des Courses the betting club of Paris, which is now dissolved, suggested the formation of betting rings on each race course, after the Fnglish method: M. Kdouard Cavailhon pro|K sed to let the right to bel to a society as is done in Italy: M. Picanl proposed to license bookmakers and to exact a tax on their tickets by the meaus of stamps; M. Fedricis plan was to charge liookmakors a fixed sum by day. as is lone in Austria and Hungary, and there were sev-ral other propositions almost identical; M. de Tracy proposed a tax of four per cent, on all liets outside the pari-mutuel: and M. Oiler, who has great experience of race course requirements iu ihe way of belting — it was he who first introduced the pari-mutuel — submitted a scheme for a kind of Tattersalls Ring, which should be reserved for owu-ers and members of the Salon des Courses. "All these proposals have been knocked on the head, and there is little chance of the bookmaker in a professional sense returning to the French race course. The pari-mutu 1 has come to stay, there can be no doubt of that. During the last four years the investments at the totalisator on the French race courses have been as follows: 1004 H.S.-»!.79.i] 190ti .140 58S PJOr. 52,.527,9O0| 1907 U.323,02. "A steady increase is to be noted. The levy of eight per cent, on these investments during the four years has produced no less a sum than £S,C2t5.4o!. Is not this enough to make the mouth of a chancellor of the exchequer waier? A special committee is appointed to distribute the percentage from the pari-mutuel devoted to charities. This committee met on Sunday at the Ministry of Agriculture under the presidency of M. Ruau. The sum available for distribution was 16,000 and this was divided between 1M districts, thirty-two of which w we si united in Paris and 121 in the provinces. A sum of $."i0.000 was voted to funds in foreign countries having for their object the assistance of French subjects resident in those countries. In France, poor rat.-s are unknown in the localities where race courses are situated."

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