Favored by Turf Critics: New York Writers Hope to See Racing Commission Plan Adopted, Daily Racing Form, 1917-02-01


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FAVORED BY TURF CRITICS NEW YORK WRITERS HOPE TO SEE RACING COMMISSION TLAN ADOPTED. Character of Men Back of Movement Sufficient to Guarantee It Does Not Hit at Constitution of State — Foolrooms May Be Opposed. By Ed Col.. Now York, January II. — Gathering tin- strings of sentiment on tlic suggestions of tin- State Racing Commission advocating the solution of the speculating prol-lem on horse racing l y legalizing the pari-inutuel method, prevalent in Europe in countries and countries on the other side of the Pacific, little opposition is discovered from the many public a i ions in this city. On the contrary, opinions expressed l y sporting editors and critics are a unit in favor of the ■atari method. In a lengthy lucid article George Daley of the World, says: Maincs V.. Wadsworth. II. K. Knapp and John Sanford are representative men and not the kind to act hastily or without careful study of a question of vital baHMrtaace to the sport of racing before recommending to the legislature, in the annual eiK rt of the State Racing Commission. the enactment of a law which would maUe pari-inutuel betting possible. It dees not seem possible that such a reconinHiidati-.il could have been made without the best of 1 gal advice that such a law would not be in contravention of the constitution of the state. It is not logical to lielieve that men who are far-seeing, and who must be moved by other than selfish motives, would make such a strong plea for relief without l eing satisfied in their own minds that MKk relief could be sought in all fairness. •It is not the purpose here to question the ad visabilily of a recommendation already made, although it elo.-s seem as if the growth of the snarl in . the List three years, and the growth of the breeding V ~ industry as will, has been of a kind to lead every encouragement, and that patience might well have beta a virtue until such time as the growing period ended and further cultivation became necessary. It is the purpose, however, to answer, so far as possible, the many queries which have come to my desk its to how the pari -mutuel system could be established without violating the constitution, which on Dria point reads: Nor shall any lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, |i»nla llll. bookmaking or any other kind of gambling hereafter be authorized or allowed within this state; and the legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offeaeea against any of the provisions of this section. When Doctors Disagree. "Legal minds diTer as to the interpretation and exact meaning of this clause as it pertains to the pari-inutuel machine. ;, ml ling is a broad term. While poolselling and bookmaking cover specific and recognized forms of wagering. There is no law against betting per se. and yet betting and some form of stock spec illation may ha called gambling by those »ln use the word in its broadest s--nse. Tin- ciuestion is too deep for analysis lie re. but the fact remain* that opinions differ as to whether pnri-mutuel betting can rightfully be called poolsclling under the meaning of the word in tin- coie.titut ion. In truth, this is the question for the Legislature to decide. "Apart from the advantages and disadvantages of the pari mutuel system of wagering, and ther is much to be said en both sides, an I apart, too. from any question of sdvisabUlty in arching relief at the hands of the legislature-, this can be said. The horse-brooding industry i i " .ist economic importance to this country; tin- race track is the tenting ground, and by all odds the controlling motive in tin- ua eat an me ■! of breedtaa;, laaaaaach as the stakes and purses provide the BMrhiaery, or. in plain words, tie nourishment for the capita! invested in stock farms. Without racing, the- breeding industry i sure to languish. Thai has been eatabUabed beyond any question. Wlthaat breeding farm*, tin- supply c:f boraea suitable for army par- I is and otters is so diminished as to seriously affect a most Important requirt meat of the; country. "One more suggestion may be offered. If the I"gislature was convinced that the pari mutuel tan of betting was not an evasion of the constitution and could furnish the relief, ■ stimulus nroald be added to the hoise-bi .. ding industry and accomplish a great economic good. It ahtO would cleat up and establish tic rights of those who enjoy racing on the luostion .,f wagering, and make for a better ume rstaadtag of what a man could or could not do without violating a law of the state-. In other words, it would make for~frank honesty and put an end to charges of hypocrisy." Opposed by Bookmakers. ThC Hew York Times, in its sporting com meat, shows • ironc ceils ideas that e-ist aiming a certain class of petaoaa In regard to race-course betting, and lays bare facts of the real value of mutui-1 speculation in comparison with the system now employed, it infers that if there is any opposition to the propose-d legislation by tiie State- Baring mil mission it will be 1-d by the pfeteostaaal element of race-goers, arho heretofore have- derived desirable benefits from bookmakteg. They cannot be censured for any action they may take, owing to the fact that tae-ir principal meana e »f livelihood is being thr sateaed, Which brings to the surface tin- first law of nature, one- cannot expect a man to lie idly by an 1 BM the foundation of his home timier-mined with every prospect of its being demolished. Tin- sitoatiein is well pen -pictured in the Times ar- egf tide, which say-: • "Since flu State- Baciag Commission proposed to establish peri mutual BMeuiaea on the rai-e tiaek -if New Veuk state, which practically means the- tracks iiiider th- juriseiie tion of the Jockey Utah, there lias been an oiile-ry on the- ground that such a move would mean th- institution of ptiblie- gambling on a , hole-sail- scale. Those sppuatd to the se-he-nie eoii- -y the bapre ilea to.it the legalising of betting on horse- races wouhl give oppor; unities feir the professional gambler to ply Ma trade- te tie- maral detriment of the people. That tliis view hi cr-rahaaaaj waaM appear from the fact that the professional gamblers, who operate em the race tracks :,- bookmake-is. are- to a linn strongly sepooed to the suggested innovation. It is safe- to say tl..t if the pari - unit it* 1 idea proceeds to tin- stops where lolls are latrodaced in the Legislature te sanction the use of tlte m-ichines, the- most violent opposl tion to such bills will come not from the Church or other guardians of public- morality, but from Ute biiiall ring of erstwhile bookmakers now doing business on the local tracks as layers of odds under the oral system. Poolroom. Men Join Reformers. "Ry the installation of these machines the layer will 1m- cut off from his precarious means of livelihood, and if he elects to patronize the tracks will have to take even chances witli the public-. At present he offers odds made by himself and with the percentage- largely against the racing man who wagers i,:i the- chances of his own entry or tin casual racegoer who visits the track to risk his money according to his judgment on the ability of the horses. There was a somewhat similar situation win n the agitation against race-track gambling was at its height prior to tiie passage of the Agnew Hart bills. At that time the poolroom interests were strongly antagonistic to betting at the tricks, their idea being that with the race course closed the speculating public would be forced to the poolrooms and handbooks to get action for their money on races held in other states. The poolroom in- ii united with reformers, who believe betting is a far-raaehiag evil, were successful in 1910, and it may be taken for grant-el that in the present crisis the professional betting men will be lineel up Sfslaal the- proposition to place speculation on a fair basis by tiie use- of the pari-mu-t ii* Is. a the other hand, the apachsmea who have suggest. -d t..i- change are men of standing in the community, who never have profited to any extent by betting on their own or other persons batata. They state that in making the suggestions they are actuate"! only by a desire to see racing re -established as a apart for the enjoyment for the musses to such an ext-nt that the breeding industry will become preifitahle enough to insure the- prt manont Improvement iff tie- standard of horses raised in America. la this they are following the steps . i Prance, Australia. Canada and some of tin- states of the union, where the principles advocated by the Siit- Commissioners of R.n ing have- bean* put hate practice to the- retlsfacthm e.f tin- public and to the advantage of the governments. Commissioners Wadsworth, Knapp and Sanford have made a frank statement i;; regard to tic welfare of the sport, for the proper conduct of which they tire responsible-to the state. Tiie fact that tin- innovation will be opposed by the- professional gambling element would appear to be one reason why it should be s-i-iously considered." Will Soon Be Put to a Test. From what lias beea seen in public print since the Kacing Ceimmissi-ms siigge-stion than is r--a -em to believe tiie pri-ss editorially will be silent on the question, with possibly one or may be- two exeep tions. it is a subjee t upon which celitors will not teach unless violent opposition is declared, as far as the policy of the paper is concerned. It is natural to ■appose that some new --papers may grasp an op portanity to get lata the limelight for self -advet lis-ing eir personal reeeatmeat reasons and came out with flaring headlines or editorials of a rabid na lure opposing rnj bill that might he presented that weald regulate- s;.ec illation on rae-e- eaaraaa. Bat that foi;--fifths of the- publications wilt either be site it or in favor of taeh meaean is tin- opinion of tl:os- who lave looked carefrdly over the attention. That a bill ree-ommending pari mutin 1 wagers is in course of preparation is common goaalp, but the father ol tie- ilocume-tit is still ill the background. It will not i.e long, bewen r. batata the aaeret is eat and the measure put to the test. The legal attack will probably be founded on the que-;ioi e,f lottery and pootse?liag, which will have to be defined as they occur in tin- state constitution. There is a taaht in the minds e.f .-cane of the best hgal talent in this coaatry whether a pari-inutuel machine can be included in the relative e l.tu-e of the constitution with lottery or gambling. Again, the constitution says: "Legislature shall pas, appropriate laws to prevent offense t-gainst .iny of the provisions of this section. According to some auiheit ities. no aw has been pa-st-,| providing a pen.tty for any persoa ope-rating a matuel machine, an I in no state has It yet be-on determined that a miitiiel machine ia a lottery device. It certainly is not a bookmaking machine, and there is n • voice at tai-liment to make- is a poo! ellc-r. Onase-uneatiy. the question now before the authorities is, "What is a puri-aiutuU luachineV"

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