Here and There on the Turf: Chicago Wants Legalized Books; System Flourishes in England; Where Sport Has Happy Setting; May be Worthy of Trial Here, Daily Racing Form, 1935-06-27


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iHere and There! on the Turf i Chicago Wants Legalized Books j I I System Flourishes in England t | i • I Where Sport Has Happy Setting May Be Worthy of Trial Here j I Henry Horner, governor of Illinois, has before him for his approval or disapproval i an act of the legislature permitting handbooks in the city of Chicago. If it becomes R a law and is upheld by the supreme court, handbooks will be licensed and controlled j by the local government in the nations second 7 largest community. Racing men all over the country are interested in the possibility of legalized handbooks, but few are willing to venture an opinion of what the s effect will be. They are agreed, however, that it removes the stain of hypocrisy just 1 as did repeal of the prohibition law. Countless persons like to wager on horses, whether they do it at the track or away from it and they consider themselves law-abiding citizens just the same. Racing in England probably is in a happier setting than the sport in any other r country, undoubtedly because "off the e course" betting is an accepted part of the national life. The London correspondent | of the Chicago Tribune recently went into , detail about the mode and conditions of f English betting and we take the liberty of freely quoting from his article: ] "If the British really lost their shirts on the horses, as they swear they do day after r day, these islands soon would be a nudist t colony. For betting is a national institution, ,, like beer, bad weather, or devotion to the monarchy. Every one indulges in it— from , the man in the street who has never seen 1 anything better than a truck horse but lays s half a crown on the 3:30 race with the corner bookie, to the sporting crowd at the ■ track and to the rich gamblers who never F go to the track but lay their bets through commission agents by letter, telegram, cable or telephone call. "Those four means of betting— letter, telegram, cable or telephone— are all important, for it is strictly forbidden to lay a ready y money or over the counter bet except at t the track. Even commission agents cant t accept a penny in cash out of a mans pocket; their dealings are made by check sent t by letter. It is even forbidden to send a a postal money order in payment of a bet on n the same date. These rules are, of course, a piece of class legislation like the laws on a drinking. They are designed to keep the e poor from losing their money on betting, r, while the rich can do as they please, just as J they can get a drink legally out of hours at their clubs or by the simple expedient of t hiring but never using a room in a hotel 1 Continued on twenty-fifth page. ~1 12 113 13 103 03 116 16 106 06 j j 102 02 ! 115 15 j 112 j£ 107 ** 113 3 111 ** 103 ~" 113 *3 843 •" lbs. ,s- lm 2000 j xq 2000 00 1500 i00 00 1750 50 110 llr 120 2n 2p q ,,, 113 105 113 13 108 108 108 .08 99 99 111 98 98 I HERE AND THERE ON THE TURF .Continued from second page. ■ and doing ones drinking in the lobby. The poor man wanting a drink cant afford such little wiles, and the poor man wanting to take a flutter on his favorite cant afford to go to the track where he could bet legally. "The result is that half the alleys and side streets of downtown London swarm with small-time bookies who take bets starting at a penny two cents and working upward to whatever limit they think they can stand. Street bets usually run from a shilling to a pound with half a crown each way as a favored sum. Half a crown is worth sixty cents when the dollar and the pound stop jumping around. On a big race almost every one in England lays a bet ranging from a penny for the poor up to thousands of pounds for big gamblers, not overlooking the sixpence of the housewife who slips her money to the milkman to be placed for her. It is said that if the milkmen dont place bets for customers, they lose trade." Large bookmaking establishments are conducted like any important business house or bank, each employing hundreds of clerks. Credit is established just as it is done in American business life and once this is done a person may wager up to his limit, simply by dispatching details of his bet by letter, telegraph or telephone. The bookie may not receive the letter until several days following, but if it bears a postmark prior to the off-time of the race in question it is accepted. Settling time is either the very day, once a week or once a month, as de-qc sired. There are no ifs, ands or buts connected with the manner in which the English go about their "off the course" wagering. No hypocrisy attend their transactions. A similar happy condition could prevail in American racing, and the sport would be better for it, if betting was not needlessly considered a bugaboo. Fortunately, however, a saner attitude is being adopted in this re-111 spect, as shown by the passage of Chicagos handbook bill, whether or not this is the solution to the problem. If given a trial, legalized bookmaking may furnish the cure and if successful in Chicago the plan may be adopted in other cities. The racetracks may feel that "off the course" betting is harmful to them, but we hardly subscribe to this thought. However, track officials will be able to guage for themselves the effects of legalized booking if Governor Horner signs the bill now before him.

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