HC Deb 06 May 1901 vol 93 cc768-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a number of betting and gambling offices exist in Belfast; and can he explain why the police authorities, who have been furnished with the names and addresses of the proprietors, have not taken action to put a stop to illegal proceedings connected with these places. In putting this question may I explain that I do so at the unanimous request of a largely-attended meeting in Belfast which passed a resolution asking me to do so.


Perhaps I may be permitted to reply to this question. My hon. friend has not been altogether correctly informed. A few years ago the police raided two of these betting offices in Belfast, and the owners and their clerks were prosecuted and heavily fined. But since then very little business has, I understand, been transacted in such offices, and the police have not been able to obtain sufficient evidence to enable them to obtain a warrant under the Gaming Acts. Most of the betting is now carried on in the streets, and in such a manner as not to infringe the clause in the local Act dealing with gambling.