Discussion over the Hall Bill, Daily Racing Form, 1916-03-28


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DISCUSSION OVER THE HALL BILL. Details of the circumstances under which the lower house ,,f the Maryland legislature refused to substitute the Prick state racing commission bill for the Hall anti-betting bill show that v. hoi the committee report came up in the house Mr. Metne-rott offered three amendments to tie Frich amendment, the first providing for minority representation on the racing commission, the second that the liceu-e fee should be si.. .oo a daj Instead of ,000, and the third th.t 00 of this should »• paid to the county in which the track was situate 1 for the improvement of roads in that county. The first Metaerott amendment was lost bv a vote of 58 to -!_. those in favor of the Hall bill geaer-ally voting against it and those iu favor of the Prick bill for the most part voting for it. although there were no party lines. The second and third Metaerott amendments were lost on viva voice rotes. There was a long and spirited debate on the main question of substituting tin- Prick bill for the Hall measure. Delegate HcDoaough led off for the committee report. He pointed out that the Hall bill would not be an anti-betting or anti-racing law except in name, and told of how the law had worked in New York, where racing and betting still vent on. except that betting was done oa credit, a much more dangerous form of gambling. Mr. McDonough thought, than open betting by the pari-mutuel plan, where a man could only lose what he had with him. Mr. Hall in defending his bill declared that the state of Maryland might just as will hive a gambling commission to regulate all crap and poker games and get a rake-off from them as a racing commission and get a rake-off from race track gambling. He denied a good many things tiiat Mr. Thomas Clyde had said before the committee and attempted to prove that all the racing was crooked by giving the record of the horse Fay Streak at several of the Maryland tracks, as stated by a bookmakers pamphlet attacking the pal i -miitui 1 .;. - tem of betting. In reference to the working of the Hughes law in New York Mr. Hall read a telegram from Governor Whitman of New York to John T. Stone of the Maryland Casualty company stating that the Hughes law had "on the whop" been a benefit to lis state. lie also read a statement from Mr. Stone giving sixteen instances of men whose defalcations had been caused, according to their assertions, by race track gambling. Replying to this, delegate Shriver declared that the state of Maryland already had a gambling commission in the parson of the insurance commissioner, who had bussed a license to the Maryland Casualty company, of which Mr. Stone was presidV nt. and Which did a purely gambling bUSJIILSS. Mr. Shriver said that this company did a professional gambling business comparable with the business of a bookmaker. It bet. said Mr. Shriver. that a man Would not meet with an accident within a year and laid its own odds; t bet an employer that his employee was an honest man ami would not steal or that no accident would happen to an employee, always laying its own od.ls. It was. said Mr. Shriver. a sort of sure-thing gambler, although he thought that business was ntirely legitimate. He also spoke of Lloyds of England which would assume a risk otherwise a bet. on any contingency that might arise. Delegate White declared if he thought the Hall bill would eliminate the admitted evils of garni on race tracks he would be in its favor, but he declared thai in his opinion it would not only fail in this but would make conditions far worse. He said that the Hall bill would open the way to racing all the year and to surreptitious betting, which would be a far greater evil than tie- regulated betting under the provisions of tiie Flick bill. Mr. Mcintosh, in advocacy of the committee repot, sail that he had made an exhaustive study of the mutter of racing and had come to the conelusioh that the best way to regulate it was by a com-mission mid the pari-mutuel machines. He told of racing conditions in Prance and England as he had obsercd them and made a thoughtful and instructive argument in favor of the Flick bill. Delegate Fished, of Prince Georges, said that the race track at Bowie hud been a positive advantage to his county and that he lied never heard of a single instance where a man had stolen anything to bet there. If there were such men who needed to be protected from themselves, as Mr. Hall had said, he reminded the gentlemen that there were institutions for the feehle-mindd iu the state of Maryland. He recounted how the race meeting ;;t Upper Marlboro had furnished the farmers a market for So.oilO worth of straw alone and how tin- hotels there had taken in enough to support them for a year, for, said he. "you know it does not take much to support a hotel in I pper Marlboro." "New York." declared Mr. Fisher, "tried to stop racing, and it caused the export of 01. 011 worth of fine horses which are needed right now in .Mexico." When the Prick bili amendment had been voted down Mr. Hall himself introduced several amend ment . which repealed the right of tiie Chesapeake Beach company to sell pools and also exempting the racing at county fairs that did not continue longer than five days.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1916032801/drf1916032801_2_8
Local Identifier: drf1916032801_2_8
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800