Text Of A Notable Kentucky Decision.: Legality of Pari-Mutuel Betting Conclusively Upheld, but Bookmaking May Be Unlawful., Daily Racing Form, 1908-05-08


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TEXT OF A NOTABLE KENTUCKY DECISION Legality of PariMutuel Betting Conclusively Up ¬ held but Bookmaking May Be Unlawful The decision rendered by the Kentucky Court of Appeals Wednesday in relation to betting on Ken ¬ tucky tracks was on an appeal and motion asking the dissolution of the temMirary injunction re ¬ straining Mayor Grinstead and other officials of the city of Louisville from Interfering with the racing ami betting at Churchill Downs Although not ex ¬ pressed one unexpected outgrowth of the decision is that inferentially Iiookmuking on Kentucky tracks is now unlawful while the legality of the methods of betting named in the decision Is fully established The decision in full is as follows followstndor tndor the statutes in force previous to 1S this court held that the machine known as French mo or Paris mutticl used in betting on horse races vas a contrivance used in betting within the niean ng of the statutes and that the persons who con ¬ ducted the business were indictable Commonwealth against Simmons 7 Ky LS Com against Cheek KM Ky 1 In IS tlo legislature in revising the statutes of the state adopted the Kentucky statutes Section 1IM Ky Statutes makes it a felony for anyone to set up and carry on any machine or contrivance used in betting whereby money or other things may be won or lost Section ll Ky statutes is in these words The change of the name of games bunks machines or contrivances mentioned or included in le preceding chapter shall not prevent the convic ion of any person violating the provisions thereof tut no prosecution shall be commenced under the said section later than live years after the commis ¬ sion of the offense nor shall these provisions apply to persons who sell combination or French pools on any regular race track during the races thereon An indictment for violation of the preceding section may clrage tle accused in one count with any or all of the offenses mentioned or included therein thereinSection Section l77 provides that any persons who en ¬ gage in any huard or game on which money or property is bet won or lost shall be subject to a line of not less than fill nor more than 100 The question Is presented whether under Section 1001 icrsoiis may buy combination or French pools on any regular race track during the races thereon It is insisted that the only effect Section 1 U so far as combination or French pools are concerned is to ecmpt Die persons who sell them from th operation of Section 1SMO under which tiie sottinjr up ctf the machine or contrivance would be u pen tcntiary offense and that persons who buy the combination or French pools on any regular race track during the races thereon may be prosecuted iimler Section 1 77 It is urged that the language of Section IUil goes no further than this and does not except from the operation of Section 1077 those who buy combination or French pools on any regular race track during the races thereon Hut an act of the legislature like any other instrument must lie so construed as to carry into effect the intention of the makers In Pailey against Com 11 Piish RM this court after referring to the rule that the words in the statute are to be taken according to tin approved use of language said saidPut Put there are other rules of construction of equal dignity and Importance which must not be overlooked and which although not incorporated in our statutes are as binding upon the courts as if embodied in it One of these rules is that every statute ought to be expounded not according to the letter but according to the means and anothiv that every Interpretation that leads to an absurd ¬ ity ought to lie rejected and still another that a law ought to lie interpreted in such a manner as that it may have effect and not he found vain und delusive delusiveThis This rule was recently followed and approved by this court in New South Itrowing Company against Com 2 H S7 The exception in the statute in favor of combination or French pools sold on any regular race track during the races thereon was not in the previous statute and we must assume that the legislature had some purpose in Inserting this ex ¬ ception in the present act Under the former consti ¬ tution special legislation was allowed The differ ¬ ent racing associations operated under special char ¬ ters which conferred upon them privileges more or less broad When the new constitution came into effect and special legislation was prohibited it was perceived by the legislature that some general pn vlsion must be made if the privileges which these racing associations then enjoyes were to continue continueThe The breeding of horses for the track has long been a favorite Industry in u large part of the state and much capital was invested in it The legisla ¬ ture evidently had in mind granting a privilege to the regular race tracks during tho races thereon It will be observed that under the statute any per ¬ son who sells combination or French pools elsewhere than on any regular race track or during the races thereon is guilty of a felony under Section 100 This shows that the legislature did not have in mind exempting merely the selling of combination or French pools from the provisions of the act but that it intended to provide that those who sold these pools on any regular race track during thu races thereon should not be punished punishedTo To bold that the men who sell pools may not be punished but that those who buy them may be pun ¬ ished would be to give no effect to that part of the act which1 limits the selling of the pools on regular race tracks during the races thereon The object of the exception was not to protect those who sell the pools Wliut the legislature had in mind was the benefit to the regular race trucks during the races thereon Tho privilege of selling the combina ¬ tion or French pools on any regular race track dur ¬ ing the races thereon would be entirely nugatory if all who buy the pools may be punished It can not be presumed that the legislature Interfiled in one section of the act to legalize tho selling of the pools and In another section to impose a penalty on all those who buy pools If the buying of the pools Is Illegal then the offering to sell them is an incitement to others to violate the law and therefore illegal But manifestly the legislature intended that the selling of combination or French pools on any regular race track during the races thereon should illegalWo not be illegal Wo therefore conclude that the Circuit Court properly granted the temporary restraining order Tills conclusion makes It unnecessary for us to consider any of the other questions raised by coun ¬ sel selChief Chief Justice ORear did not hear the argument and participateMotion did not participate Motion denied In this decision

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1900s/drf1908050801/drf1908050801_1_8
Local Identifier: drf1908050801_1_8
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800