Sweepstakes (says the Atgus) have been prohibited—on paper—and no sweepstakes can be openly managed, but the business is carried on, under a thin disguise, in a wholesale fashion. As the law stands, therefore, it is emi-
nently mischievous, for it allows the sweepstakes to take place, and yet it 1 prevents that publicity which would be a check upon fraud. Prosecutions have been tried, and have failed, and the members of the ring have realised and are taking advantage of their immunity. At first the business was very much in the hands of one man, who, it is said, was trusted with L 50,000 by the public last year—a fact which illustrates in a lively manner the extent of the transactions. T his man was well known, and his honesty was believed in ; but a host of dubious characters are now following in his track. A fortune is offered for a shilling, for half-a-
crown, for five shillings, for ten shillings, and for , a pound. The lottery business is in full play, and is conducted in the worst possible manner by the worst possible hands. There is a consensus of testimony that the lottery business should not be associated with the daily life of a community, as its tendency is to deprave the young and the weak. As a rule the public lottery is suppressed; but here the system is in full operation without there being the smallest guarantee of fair play. The promoter has the public at his mercy. He may publish a purely fictitious prize list for the edification of his patrons, or he may allot the favorite horses to himself and the outsiders to his subscribers. He may do anything he pleases to put money in his pocket at the expense of those who have trusted him. An extraordinary amount of credulity is required to believe that one and all of the sweepstakes promoters of the period are of immaculate honesty, and as a matter of fact it is declared by people who should know that we may safely come to the very opposite conclusion. The Victorian detective force have been engaged during the last few weeks collecting evidence for the purpose of making another attempt to put down the “ sweep ” system, which has grown to such an enormous extent in connection with the Melbourne Cup meeting during the last few years. They have succeeded in about twelve cases in collecting evidence upon which it is proposed to institute proceedings at an early date. The matter is now under the consideration of the Crown Law Department. Owing to the interference of the Police Commission with the Detective Department action was deferred until after the Cup meeting.
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AUSTRALIAN "SWEEPS.", Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 787, 7 November 1882
AUSTRALIAN "SWEEPS." Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 787, 7 November 1882
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