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The Gambling Epidemic.

In the case of Cohen v. Kittell, Mr Baron Huddlestone and Mr Justice Manisty (says the * St. James's Gazette') decided that an action for damages for the alleged breach of a contract to make bets cannot be sustained, bets not being recognised by law. Mr Justice Manisty, in expressing his concurrence in the judgment delivered by Baron Huddlestone, observed that it was a novel attempt to carry yet further a course of decisions which had, in his opinion, gone too far already to make the Aot of Parliament nugatory, and give facilities to gambling, which was carried on now to an extent perfectly appalling, whether as to betting on races or transactions in stock. He did not hesitate to say, from his experience as a Judge, that there was u> greater evil in Bociety, and none which caused more misery and ruin ic families. The practice of gambling had been carried to a frightful extent through effeet not being given to the Act, and he would never be a party to carrying that system any further. This was an action against an agent for not making bets, and he held, without doubt, that such an action could not be maintained, If bets had been made and money paid or received upon them, the decisions cited would apply, and the agent might have recovered losses he I had paid, or the party employing him, money he had won. These decisions were binding on the Court, but he would not carry them a step further, and here the bets had not been made, and money had not been Won or received. The authorities had already, in his opinion, gone very far, but he would not carry them further in favor of gambling. He could not see why, when petty betting houses were put down by force, Tattersall's should be spared, though the bets made there were no more valid or legal than if made in any public-house. He, however, would not carry the law further in favor of gambling and betting, and he would not hold that an agent who had declined to make bets, which the law had done all it oould to discourage, should be liable to an action for not making them, He should rather think it was very creditable conduct on the part of the agent. The Act was tc put down all bets or contracts by way of gambling or wagering, and it was to the credit of the agent that he had refused to make such bets, even though he had agreed to do so. Contracts which would be contrary to public policy and could not be enforced, an agent could not bo bound to make.

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Bibliographic details

The Gambling Epidemic., Evening Star, Issue 7950, 4 July 1889

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The Gambling Epidemic. Evening Star, Issue 7950, 4 July 1889