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FOOTBALL POOLS

GAMBLING HISTORY

PARSON'S APPEAL TRIUMPH

! LONDON. Football pool' promoters are considering a scheme under which clients will pay a halfpenny for each coupon they receive by post, and so overcome a legal ruling given against pool operations through newspapers. The Court allowed, with costs, the appeal of the Rev. John Bretherton, of Heaton Moor, Stockport, who had contended that such football pool competitions were illegal. His action against the United Kingdom Totalisator Co., of Chancery Lane, London, alleging contravention of the Betting and Lotteries Act, 1934, was dismissed by Sir Bertrand Watson, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, at Bow Street. Lord Goddard, giving the Divisional Court's judgment, said that the company's pool was not contrary i to law but for the fact that it was conducted through a newspaper. All Affected Thus a case which originally concerned a little-known firm has imperilled the whole operation of the Unity Pool, the wartime combination of such big firms as Littlewood's, Vernon's, Cope's and others. Before the war the coupons—to be filled in with forecasts of the results of certain matches—were sent by post to millions of people. The Paper Control Order and Post Office requirements led the promoters to put their coupons in the newspapers. They must now find I some other way of keeping in touch with clients. Like similar pools, not members of the Football Pool Promoters' Association (Unity Pool), they may send coupons by post—but the client must pay id for each one. It is questionable whether the Post Office could cope with a twoway pool correspondence with its present reduced staff. . The other possibility is that the pool fan should make out his own coupon. In this case he would have to be informed which matches had been chosen by the promoters. Alternatives If he is not to be told through the newspapers by an announcement considered legal, some other channel will have to be found. For instance: Programmes sold to spectators at football matches might be used for lists of pool matches; There might be a reversion to the peace-time system of announcing matches and awards on a foreign radio station; Advertisements could even be put in Irish newspapers. The Rev. John Bretherton, 62-years-old Methodist minister, returned home in triumph—victor of an anti-gambling fight which has cost him and his supporters £1400 and lasted two years. Behind the fight was the Football Pool Law-Advisory Committee of 14 members, mostly drawn from Manchester and district. Mr. Bretherton is the only clergyman member and is secretary. It will meet to celebrate its success and "examine its accounts" in Manchester, and Mr. Bretherton hinted that it may consider means of carrying on the fight against pools.

'Legal advice," he said, "may show us a loophole which the pool promoters may have overlooked."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450816.2.86

Bibliographic details

FOOTBALL POOLS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

Word Count
462

FOOTBALL POOLS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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