To Permit Individual Betting., Daily Racing Form, 1910-04-09


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TO PERMIT INDIVIDUAL BETTING. Albany. N. Y., April 8. — The indications are that the Hart-Ague w law will be amended so as to prevent only professional lietting on race tracks and elsewhere in tlie state. Senator Brackett. chairman of the Senate codes committee, which Is consideriug the Agnew-Pcrkins amendments, designed to put an end to "oral" betting, says that the committee probably will amend the bills to make it clear that there will be no interference with so-called friendly bets. It was developed at a hearing before the codes committee that the words "lays or publishes odds, orally or otherwise." would subject any person who makes one bet with another to prosecution for violation of the law if the amendment in its present form should be passed. Senator Brackett said the cominittie would frame the law to make clear the intention of the legislature that it seeks only to put an end to professional lietting. Senator Brackett." in commenting on the matter, said: "My little village of Saratoga Springs in a measure has been built up around the race track, and I think apy new legislation should be so plainly framed that it would not accomplish more than is desired by its introducer — that is the elimination of the professional bookmaker. These bills can be . amended so as to permit private betting and make certain that the personal rights of the individual on race tracks will not lie interfered with in this regard." Other members of the committee agreed with Senator Brackett that the pro|H sed legislation should be re drafted, so that only the professionals should he affected. Some of those who appeared in advocacy of tlie bills as originally drawn declared that they would be satisfied with legislation that would eliminate the professional and yet make it certain that the individual bettor would not be interfered with. At the recent hearing before the Senate codes committee. Joseph S. Auerbach. counsel for the Jockey Club, laid stress upon the fact that there was no demand throughout the state for further legislation and cited the fact that the state Associaion of District Attorneys did not approve of them when they liad been under discussion at tlie lust meeting of that organizal ion. He declared that au "intruder" had cast the decisive vote for the Hart -Agnew bill at an extra session of the l"gislature. which meant another question for the courts to decide as to legality. Mr. Auerbach contended tiiat while many persons argued against the liipior industry and the theater, yet the state did not legislate either industry out of business, but regulated and licensed them, and he urged that the same course should be pursued with the race tracks. He said: "If tpese bills passed, the race tracks would have to pass through a third seasons reign of terror which would finally kill the sport. Since the Hart-Agnew law was annual from thirty five to seventy-five arrests and indictments have been made aiiuually by overzealous district attorneys which the courts afterward lie elared were not justified by the luw. People will not visit the race tracks if they are to be raided in this manner. The question of the constitutionality of the Hart-Agnew law passed two years ago is now being considered by the Supreme Court and we expMt a decision before the present legislature adjourns. If you do not pass this legislation, and let us go through this season without making BCneBjhl indiscriminate arrests at the tracks, wc might Is; able to survive." Senator Brackett insisted the legislature had no intention of passing legislation which would permit of oppression in the enforcement of tin- law. not- to interfere with bets between friends or strangers, but only to prohibit betting as a business. Canon Chase, representing the Citizens Anti Race Track Caanantttee of Brooklyn, appeared in favor of the Agnew Perkins bills. lb .aid that the society whieh he represented had been disappoint- d over the « court decision as to oral liookinaking. What was desired, he declared, was only the elimination of tin- bookmaker, as it was not the function of the government to interfere with a private transaction, such as a bet between friends. Rev. Walter Laidl.-.w. of New York, also representing the Citizens Anti-Race Track Committee, spoke for the bills. Other! who snoke in favor of the bills were Rev. O. R. Miller, of Albany, who represented the International Reform Bureau, and Hans P. Freece. of New York, also connected with the name bureau. Freece described how he had cultivated bookmakers to learn their methods and submitted tickets which he had hotcht of them In playing races. Many leading turfmen appeared ia opposition to the proposed legislation.

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