The Returned Soldiers Viewpoint: Little Bad Effects from Racing and Great Good Can be Derived from the Sport, Daily Racing Form, 1919-09-10


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THE RETURNED SOLDIERS VIEWPOINT Little Bad Effects from Racing and Great Good Can Be Derived from the Sport. TORONTO, Ont., September 9. The following letter from a returned soldier appears in the Mail and Empire: "Toronto, August 2S. "I was one of the great majority who read with real satisfaction in your issue of Tuesday that the federal government has at last appointed a coin-mission to investigate racing in Canada. Having only been back from overseas a month today, I have no idea why racing was banned at all in this country. Even in England they did manage to keep the sport alive under a great many restrictions restrictions that caused ninny owners and breeders to sell all their stock, seventy-five per cent of which was taken out of the country. "There is a terrible shortage of thoroughbreds in England at the present time. I myself attended several meetings in June; including Epsom, Derby meeting and Ascot and at several other meetings saw twenty-four or twenty-six horses turn out for a program of six or seven races, which meant there wouhl be a walkover on fields of two and three horses. But such scanty "racing dM not .stop the British public from seeing them, fi- small meetings got crowds of 30,000, and at Doueaslcr the crowd was estimated at 130,000; at Epsom Downs on Dul.y day there were hundreds of thousands, which goes to show that racing is the most popular sport in tlx-world. "To my way of thinking there is little bad effect on the public in general. If racing carried on in the same, way as in England, then there would be good grounds for stopping it here, for in England at any race meeting you find crown and anchor, pricking the garter and three-card trick; in fact, all the "con" games ever invented. Professional tipsters sell their goods on the course, and you take a chance of the bookie beating it, unless you bet with a member of Tattersalls. "Here in Canada you see some of the cleanest racing in the world. It benefits a lot of people, "he farmers get good prices for hay, oats and straw; it brings trade to saddlers and also hardware dealers, and it benefits the country by supplying good remounts. The betting end of it sems io bother the government. Well, whore there is racing there will always be betting, witli government sanction or without. Why cant they pass a law legalizing betting, licensing bookmakers aiid also have pari-mutuels? It would mean that the government would get a tidy income, which would help the finance? of the country, and to stop the handbooks license commission agents, as they are in England, wheie they can carry on a betting business by mail, but are forbidden by law to accept any money by hand, all bets to be mailed or telegraphed. "That itself would mean a lot of money to the government in the sale of stamps alone. If all bookmakers were licensed it would be jiapos:ble for a man to run a hand book, as it stands to reason the public would rather bet cvith the licensed bookie than one without. You.s, etc., "SGT. F. L. HIPGRAVE, "199 Brunswick Ave."

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