§ Amendment made: In page 5, leave out line 18 and insert "This section applies to".—[Mr. Ernest Davies.]
§ Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)
I beg to move, in page 5, line 24, to leave out paragraph (a) and insert:(a) the charges made or stakes paid by any player in respect of the day on which the small card or gaming party is held shall not exceed five shillings;May I suggest Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that the following Amendment in my name and the names of hon. Friends of mine should be debated at the same time? I refer to the Amendment, in page 5, line 28, leave out paragraph (b) and insert:(b)the total value of the prizes or awards distributed in respect of the day on which the small card of gaming party is held shall not exceed twenty pounds;The purpose of this Amendment is to include the game known as "Housey-housey", "Tombola" and "Bingo" within the ambit of Clause 2. It will also 605 have the advantage of including a few other small games of identical character. During the Committee stage of the Bill, Clause 4, a most admirable Clause, which was moved by the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies), includes the game of whist. That Clause was taken "on the nod" in Committee, and it was entirely in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Report of the Royal Commission.
Since I tabled the Amendments, six or seven weeks ago, I have had a great many representations from those who enjoy the small game known as "Housey-housey," "Bingo" or "Tombola"—which are precisely the same game, I may say for the benefit of those who do not understand the intricacies of the matter. Those representations have come primarily from British Legion and working men's clubs and institutes. "Housey-housey" is a game played in humble circles in local societies, clubs or institutes and involves putting 1d., 3d., or, if one is playing in very expensive style, 6d., into the "kitty" and trying to fill a line with the lucky numbers. At the end of the game, or as it goes on, there is a distribution of prizes.
Under Clause 4 there are three clear safeguards. As Clause 4 stands—and it will not be altered in any way—it says that this game shall not be played for private gain. That is absolutely plain. Secondly, it says that it shall only be played for up to a total amount of 5s. That is in the case of the game of whist. In working men's clubs, British Legion clubs and ordinary fetes held by party organisations throughout the country this game of "Housey-housey" has been played regularly and illegally. If we are to make the small whist-drive legal, as Clause 4 so admirably does, it seems to me that we should go a stage further and also make lawful games which are played in a similar manner, but subject to the same terms and conditions.
The reason why these two Amendments are being moved now is that whereas whist is played for one stake which shall not exceed 5s., "Housey-housey" and the other games are played for a number of stakes, 1d., 3d. or 6d. Furthermore, in both cases considerable sums are derived by societies from the playing of a regular game of "Housey-housey" 606 once a week. When I was a Parliamentary candidate in that great industrial city of Nottingham the game of "Housey-housey" was played in a very large British Legion institute once a week, and 25 per cent. of the proceeds were taken every week to provide an outing for the children to Skegness in the summer, or for a similar attraction. I have never seen "Housey-housey" played as what one might call a real gambling game.
There is one matter that I shall have to face this afternoon. If in those circumstances this Clause were not too wide and only covered the objects which I have in mind and a game like "Housey-housey" could be played under stringent conditions, I warmly suggest to the House that it is clearly within the ambit of this Bill.
On Second Reading, the Joint Under-Secretary of State to the Home Office made certain observations. He dealt with the aspect of lotteries and pointed that in due course there would be a Clause dealing with whist. He drew attention to the fact that in due course there would also be a Clause to deal with "Housey-housey." The reason why this Amendment is being moved on Report stage and why it was not moved during the Committee stage is that it was not until the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) had moved his Clause to cover whist and that had been clarified that it was possible to put down the necessary Amendments to include the game of "Housey-housey" and the like.
On Second Reading, the Joint Under-Secretary said:Clause 2 introduces a completely new element"—that is the present Clause 4 which we are discussing—in the sense that it was not before the House when we considered the Bill introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot. It seeks to implement a recommendation of the Royal Commission concerning whist drives. I think that that was the primary intention in the mind of the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies).The hon. Gentleman went on to say:The House will no doubt have noticed that Clause 2 does not refer particularly to whist. Indeed, as it is now drafted the Clause would cover any game, for example bridge.He then gave conditions which would be imposed as follows:first, that the only money paid should be a single charge for entry; and secondly, that 607 there should be no stakes in the course of play.2.15 p.m.
Later, the hon. Gentleman turned to the matter which I had indicated I would raise by moving an appropriate Amendment, and said:There may be an Amendment moved during the Committee stage to extend the Clause to cover such games.The hon. Gentleman had just previously said that, for example, it would be difficult to play "Housey-housey" or other games of that kind without stakes being laid and taken as the game proceeded, and he went on to say:If the Bill receives a Second Reading, I think that the Committee would then be well advised to look narrowly at any Amendment to that effect. The questions raised now are, is it desirable to legalise small whist drives, and is it desirable to legalise, for charitable, sporting and similar purposes, a larger class of small lotteries than is allowed under the present law?The Government do not wish to interfere with the voting of hon. Members according to what they believe to be right in this matter. If the Bill receives a Second Reading a number of important questions will remain to be dealt with during the Committee stage."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th November, 1955: Vol. 546, c. 1853–4–5.]He then offered his assistance.
It seems to me that at that stage, while the Government were inviting the House to consider with great care an Amendment to include "Housey-housey" they were indicating that they would not have opposed the principle in this Clause, provided it was carefully drafted.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
I should point out that the hon. Member omitted to read certain words in the speech of the Joint Under-Secretary in which he said that to extend the Clause to cover such games would be embarking on a much wider and more controversial subject. That is very relevant.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
I missed that in going back to "Housey-housey," but I do not think that affects what was said, that this was a matter for the conscience of hon. Members, and, whilst they should look at it narrowly, there was no opposition to the proposal at that stage. I venture to think that that was a matter of importance.
In drafting this Amendment I went to the doyen of gambling law in this country, Mr. Gilbert Beyfus, Queen's 608 Counsel, who advised the Royal Commission so brilliantly in its efforts, and I am indebted to him for this drafting. He and I drafted it together. I have looked at the evidence and found that the whole Report of the Royal Commission on gambling is punctuated with statements as to the excellence of his evidence, which was accepted. I am not for a moment suggesting that because that particular Queen's Counsel has drafted this Amendment that should have an effect on the consciences of hon. Members; of course not. What I am saying is that I think it does show that this has been properly drafted and has been drawn as narrowly as can be to cover the objects which we have in mind.
I do not believe, apart from those whose consciences one respects in this matter and who in any event would vote against anything designed to widen the scope of gambling, the country, generally speaking, would oppose this Amendment. There is really no doubt that trade unionists and those who play these games in their homes or at fetes would favour extending the scope.
The objections, as I understand them, are not to extending the Bill to cover 'Housey-housey", "Bingo" and other games. First, I think it can be argued that roulette could be played. It would certainly be a very queer sort of roulette, because, if there were a spinning wheel, the total amount of money which could be staked would still be only 5s. for the whole of the game in question and the total amount of any prizes distributed could not exceed £20. Therefore, the only form of roulette which could be played would be the sort of game already played in the various "Dreamlands" of Margate or Blackpool and other places—which I personally know so well—where there is a merry-go-round, horses are chosen, and a prize is given if a player happens to back the right one.
If the limitation of 5s. be right, then I submit it cannot conceivably be contended that the whist-drive player is entitled to his whist drive, a game of chance, at five bob, and yet a person who wants to play "Housey-housey" cannot do likewise.
There are two other arguments. It is, of course, true that any matter of gaming raises the difficult and intricate 609 question of the enforceability of the law by the police. Obviously, it is not easy to enforce the law where it is determined by the total amount of money staked. That applies to the present situation in the case of whist where there are the limits of 5s. and £20. Let us look at the other side of the case. Equally, at the present time, the law is being flouted all over the country. It is being flouted in the case of whist just as much as it is bein3 flouted in the case of "Housey-housey", and vice versa. In all these little fêtes—certainly in the last six I have been to—"Bingo", as it is known in that place, has been played, and on each occasion it has been played in contravention of the law.
For that reason I do submit to the Minister that if he feels impelled to cast any aspersions on this proposal, he should none the less weigh most carefully in the one scale his difficulty and that of the police as regards enforceability, and balance it against the present flouting of the law on the other hand. Balancing the one with the other, I find it hard to support the argument that difficulty of enforceability makes this proposal difficult to accept. I believe that it would not make the law any worse than it is at the present time. It would make these games legal, and further, I believe that the overwhelming majority of the country supports it.
One final word. Plainly, the nature of the game is clearly covered to the extent of the stake of 5s. I would ask the House to give this question careful consideration. If today we accept the scope of this Bill on the one hand for small lotteries, which we have now so successfully dealt with, and, on the other, for what is really the small card or gaming party, and if we include in that field only those games without making the same provision under similar terms and conditions for the other games, we shall be creating yet a further anomaly in the law.
§ Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)
I beg to second the Amendment.
There is no doubt that recently there has been an effort by the police in some districts to abolish "Housey-housey" particularly in my own Medway towns area. I know from conversation with the 610 authorities that they are doing so fundamentally very much against their will. May I say that I have enjoyed a game of "Housey-housey."
§ Mr. Burden
It is obvious that my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Sir R. Boothby) has also enjoyed a game of "Housey-housey." I think we can also say that neither of us felt extremely guilty at having broken the law in so doing, as we obviously did.
I ask the House to look at the other aspect. The legal aspect has been very ably presented by my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies). I believe that the function of many of these clubs is largely to allow members' wives and families, once a week, to enjoy the company of their men-folk on these particular occasions. I know that in my own constituency, on certain nights of the week, husbands and wives spend a very pleasant evening at extremely low cost. I know also that it is not so much the idea of winning a few shillings that attracts them, but that, by playing "Housey-housey" they were enabling many of the clubs to remain in being, to build up a certain reserve which, oftentimes, was spent for the benefit of parties of children, in many cases parties of poor children not even connected with members of the club, so that they could be taken to the seaside for outings and other pleasant excursions.
Personally, I hope that the House will agree to allow this Bill to be amended as suggested. If it does not, and if "Housey-housey" is to be excluded, I would certainly ask the Home Secretary whether the Government propose to initiate a drive against "Housey-housey" and abolish it from the Armed Forces. "Housey-housey" is played very extensively in Service messes and N.A.A.F.I. clubs; it has become almost as much an institution as the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute itself.
I would ask whether the police are to be instructed to apply a general rule against "Housey-housey" and enforce the law in all quarters of the country to ensure that it is not played. At the moment, the police do so in some areas, while at the same time, in a next-door county, the police totally disregard the playing of "Housey-housey." The best 611 and simplest way out of this difficulty, in my view, is to allow the Amendment and enable this very innocuous and pleasant game to be continued to be played in clubs and institutes.
§ Sir R. Boothby
May I ask just one question? I myself went through a very intensive course on "Housey-housey" last summer at Bognor Regis, where it is called "Bingo." My hon. Friend has suggested that every time I played I was, in fact, breaking the law. I played it day after day.
§ Mr. Burden
In reply to my hon. Friend, I must admit—and I am sure the Under-Secretary will agree—that my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East has committed a most heinous offence. He broke the law every time he played the game.
§ Mr. Deedes
As the House will have seen, the effect of these Amendments will be to go some way—some hon. Members may feel it is too far—beyond the original purpose of Clause 4. I should call the attention of hon. Members to the fact that Clause 4 is in the form of an exception to the second of the first two paragraphs in the summary of recommendations of the Royal Commission on the subject of gaming. It is an exception primarily to assist the holding of whist drives, and as such, it is an exception to the present law. It is the view of the Government, and I know it is the view of the promoter of the Bill, that it is practicable to make such an exception, that such an exception can be enforced, and the law continue to make sense. The consequences of these two particular Amendments, however, would be much more far-reaching.
I want to answer my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) in this way—and this is one of the main reasons why I cannot recommend that hon. Gentlemen should support these two Amendments. First, there is the question of enforceability, to which he did refer. Under the first Amendment, it would be necessary, in order to enforce the law, to make a check 612 on the total stake placed by each player during the course of an evening's entertainment to make sure that each stake did not exceed 5s.
Whatever the present state of the law may be considered to be, that would impose an impossible and intolerable task on the already overburdened police forces. In the case of a game of "Housey-housey," it might be possible—indeed, I am advised it would be possible—to organise the game so that this check was automatically made, and I do not dispute this. There is, however, nothing in the Amendment which confines it to "Housey-housey" or requires that the game be organised in that way. A promoter might seek to have a quite different game and it might be one in which it was impossible to keep a check on the total stakes placed by the players.
One condition on which the Royal Commission laid great stress, particularly when discussing exemptions, was that there should be enforceable conditions. If one accepts the principle of enforceable conditions, any attempt to widen the Clause would be going contrary to an important principle enunciated by the Royal Commission.
The second objection to the Amendment is that it provides no over-riding control on the type of game which is to be played. Many types of game could be allowed within the prescribed conditions, including such games—here again we come to a principle of the Royal Commission's Report—as would be totally forbidden under the Royal Commission's findings as thosein which by reason of the nature of the game the chances of all the players are not equaland, again,in which a toll is levied on the stakes as the game is played.I appreciate, from the speeches of both my hon. Friends, that the intention of the Amendment is to permit the playing of "Housey-housey" in working men's clubs. Before deciding upon this, however, hon. Members should know that the two Amendments would also open the door to the playing in village halls of games more usually associated with casinos. It is appreciated that there is a desire to relax the law, and I take note of what my hon. Friend the Member for 613 Gillingham (Mr. Burden) said about action by the police.
We do not feel that it is practicable to make this exception to the existing law of gaming within this context. Comprehensive legislation on gaming has been foreshadowed from the Dispatch Box on another occasion, and we hope that hon. Members may be prepared to await such comprehensive legislation in order that this aspect should be tackled.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
The hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) made a very plausible case, but I feel sure that after listening to the Joint Under-Secretary he will realise that this is not the place in which to insert these Amendments and to provide the legalisation of these other games. The Bill has a very limited purpose. As far as card games are concerned, as the Under-Secretary pointed out, its limited purpose is to enable whist drives, which are so widely held throughout the country, particularly by charitable organisations and societies, to be legalised and to be free from the fear of intervention by the police. As hon. Members know, they have been left alone for a long time on the advice of the Home Office, and whist drives are not interfered with, but it is an anomaly to have on the Statute Book laws which make whist drives illegal and which could be enforced at any time were it the wish of any Government to do so.
As the Under-Secretary pointed out, it is practicable to enforce the provisions which are laid down in the Bill in regard to whist drives. If the Bill were extended in the way that the hon. Member has suggested, it would go beyond the scope of the Bill to which the House gave a Second Reading without a Division. It would be extending the Bill in a way which would not commend itself to a large number of Members who accept it in its present form. I am second to no one in my desire to make "Housey-housey" in its innocuous forms legal—that is what we all desire. In fact, I prefer it to whist or to going in for lotteries.
The whole question of gaming, however, is too wide a subject to be incorporated in a Private Member's Bill. Private Members' opportunities are limited and it would not be right for us to attempt to revise the whole of the 614 gaming laws, which are in great need of being overhauled. The hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet has served a useful purpose today in directing attention to the fact that these games are illegal. We all know that they should not be illegal, but they should be subject to some overriding restriction on excessive gambling which, presumably, will be the object and purpose of the Bill which the Government have promised to introduce in due course.
The hon. Member has shown the need for revision of the law and the Government have undertaken that in due course the law will be revised—sooner, I hope, than later. In those circumstances. I ask the hon. Member whether he would be so good as to consider withdrawing his Amendment.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
In the light of the very comprehensive statement which has been made by the Minister and the remarks made by the proposer of the Bill, the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies), and having regard to the fact that my hon. Friends and myself who support these Amendments are none the less very much in favour of doing nothing which would in any way derogate from the proposal of this admirable Bill as a whole, it is my intention to ask for the Amendment to be withdrawn. Before doing so, however, there is one point I should like to put.
I listened with gerat care to the three effective points made by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, but not a single one of them derogates from the fact that apparently the Government would like games such as "Housey-housey" to be played in similar terms and conditions provided that the law can be satisfactorily amended to do so.
As there has been an indication of future Government legislation in the sphere of gaming, I ask my hon. Friend to give an undertaking that this matter will be looked at very carefully in the review of gaming legislation and will be borne in mind in the framing of any future legislation.
§ Mr. H. Boardman (Leigh)
As far as I can see, there is nothing in Clause 4 which expressly precludes the playing of "Housey-housey" provided it is played on the basis of a single payment and a single distribution of prizes. Is that correct?
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
That is the position but, in practice, it is not played that way. It would be very difficult to play it to rules in that way.
§ Mr. Deedes
Of course, in the review of the law of gaming that we have promised, all these games will come under review and "Housey-housey" will be among them.
§ Mr. Burden
If a single payment were made at the beginning of an evening for "Housey-housey," spread over several games, would that legalise the playing of the game in a club?
§ Mr. Deedes
After what has been said on the subject of the game, I should certainly not give any off-the-cuff ruling as to what would make it legal or illegal.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir T. Moore
I beg to move, in page 5, line 30, to leave out "value" and to insert "cost to the promoters."
I feel sure that I am interpreting the intention of the promoters of the Bill in moving this Amendment. Obviously, it would be quite impossible to limit the value of prizes to £20, for to do so would immediately limit the generosity of tradesmen, shopkeepers and others who donate prizes to be won at the raffle or whatever the event may be. Although my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Sir E. Errington) has his name to the next Amendment, which proposes that £100 should be the limit, not even that figure would meet the case.
I remember an instance when a man who had used his motor car to the limit of its capacity and had managed to save sufficient money to buy another car, donated his old car to the club by which the raffle was conducted. Of course, it was worth more than £20, and in view of changes in costs and charges it would, perhaps, be worth more than £100.
I am sure that the intention of the sponsors of the Bill is to limit to £20 the cost to the promoters in the purchase of gifts, not the value of the rewards or prizes themselves which are given. I do not move this Amendment to interfere with the purpose of the Bill. I do 616 so merely because I am sure that the intention of the Amendment was in the minds of the sponsors.
§ Mr. Deedes
It may be convenient if, at this stage, I say a word about this Amendment. While fully appreciating the motives of my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) in moving the Amendment, I would point out that in our view it would go rather wider than he thinks, and wider than, perhaps, hon. Members now appreciate. It certainly would involve the rewriting of the Clause. It would lead to possibilities of goods in kind as prizes being offered beyond the principle which, I think, the promoter of the Bill has in mind.
I do not want to go into any further details now, but I think that before hon. Members decide on the Amendment they should realise how far it may take them from the intention of the Clause, the intention which the sponsors of the Bill had in mind.
§ Mr. Ernest Davies
Since the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) has attributed to me one purpose and the Under-Secretary of State has attributed another, perhaps it would be as well if I made it clear to the House that I agree with the Under-Secretary's interpretation of the intentions of the Clause and of the sponsors of the Bill.
We followed the recommendation of the Royal Commission about whist drives, that they should be limited to that extent. Once we extend beyond £20 the limit on the prizes in the case of single whist drives, by allowing prizes to be given in kind, we go beyond the recommendation of the Royal Commission. In this respect, I do not think that it is desirable to do so. The Amendment introduces a complication, and it adds to the difficulties of enforcement, and it opens the way to abuse.
I appreciate the motives of the hon. Member for Ayr in moving the Amendment, and I realise that there are cases where, of course, there would not be any abuse, but the fact that the Amendment would open the way to abuse makes it, in my view, undesirable for us to accept it.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
I would submit a third consideration which is of some importance. If we are to determine whether there has been an infringement of the law by reason of the value of the prizes we should have to call in aid a valuer to determine the valuations of the prizes, and in view of that difficulty I should have thought that the words proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) would have been an improvement on the word "value" in this context. The words "cost of all prizes" would cover not only the cost of the prizes, but also the costs to the promoters.
The point which the Under-Secretary of State forcibly made was about the cost to the promoters when they have prizes given to them, thus, perhaps, altering the total value of the prizes on offer. The hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) was concerned with their value. There is a difference between their value and the cost to the promoters. If there are to be valuations that will be rather difficult, so I prefer the words of the Amendment to the present words of the Bill. I think that they would fully cover the case. It is true that, were there to be a free distribution of prizes, their total value might exceed £20, but I am not at all sure that that would do any harm.
The hon. Member for Enfield, East talked about what the Royal Commission said. That is all very well, but the Report of the Royal Commission is punctuated by difficulties of draftsmanship. The members of the Royal Commission are not parliamentary draftsmen, but ordinary men of common sense, and we ought not to bind them inflexibly to the terminology of their Report.
§ 2.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Mulley
I think that it may be that the word "value" may be reconsidered by the Under-Secretary of State and that, if need be, rewriting could be done in another place, but I would ask the House to resist the Amendment because it could mean that prizes to the value of £10,000 or £20,000 could be offered if they were all given. While I am prepared to admit that the present wording is not perfect, I think that the Amendment is not one we should accept.
§ Sir T. Moore
In view of the implication that this matter may be reconsidered, 618 and that better wording may possibly be found in another place in substitution for the word "value," I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir E. Errington
I beg to move, in page 5, line 31, at the end to insert:Provided that in the case of a small card or gaming party which is the final entertainment in a series of two or more such entertainments and in which the players can only participate as a result of their success in a previous entertainment or any previous entertainments there shall be substituted for the words twenty pounds herein the words one hundred pounds.In the previous Session I introduced a Bill to apply to small lotteries but was not wise enough to include therein any provision relating to whist drives, and I congratulate the hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies), the promoter of this Bill, on including provisions in it for whist drives. In Committee, there was little if any discussion of the subject of whist drives, and Clause 4 went through virtually on the nod. Since then, and that was some time ago, a large number of representations have been made to me and others pointing out that in the Clause no distinction is drawn between a whist drive and what is called a whist tournament.
The distinction, which I had not appreciated, is, apparently, that a whist drive is held in one place on one day, whereas a whist tournament is held in stages at different places at different times. Apparently, various county organisations, charities, constituency organisations, and the British Legion hold what are known as whist tournaments. The object of the exercise is that there should be a number of small whist drives which are held all over, say, the county. The people who are successful in those whist drives get a small prize each, and then go forward to the next stage of the tournament which, presumably, is held in the county town. It is the custom at the end of these tournaments, which are quite social occasions, to award some prizes of greater value than those which are awarded in the normal whist drives.
I am told that it would be a great disaster for many of these organisations which run these whist tournaments if the 619 total value of the prizes at the final entertainment were limited to £20. I am told that a figure of £100 would adequately limit these final entertainments. I hope very much that the House will appreciate that, according to their Report, there is little doubt that the Royal Commission on Betting, Lotteries and Gaming took the view that whist drives were a popular form of gaming, butas ordinarily conducted were generally recognised as an innocent form of amusement and free from the elements of mischief which accompany gambling.I know that the Devil can quote Scripture to support his own case, but opponents of the Bill have made many quotations today from the Royal Commission's Report and I hope, therefore, that I have not done wrong in praying in aid the Commission's Report to make my point about whist drives.
§ Mr. Mulley
I beg to second the Amendment.
It seems to me that we should not want the Bill to put people who enjoy whist drives in a worse position than they are at the moment, through the indulgence granted by the operations of the police. If people have to play four or five times to get into a final it is only reasonable that the final prize should be higher than the £20 limit which is otherwise imposed. This is a reasonable Amendment to enable people who enjoy whist to continue to have the facilities which are now open to them.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendments made: In page 6, line 3, leave out from "at" to "in" and insert:
entertainments to which this section applies".
In line 5, leave out from "at "to "in "and insert:
an entertainment to which this section applies".
§ In line 9, leave out "a party" and insert "an entertainment".—[Mr. Ernest Davies.]
§ Sir E. Errington
I beg to move, in page 6, line 14, at the end to insert:but except as aforesaid those conditions shall apply separately to each entertainment which forms part of a series of entertainments whether or not some or all of the persons taking part in any one of the series are thereby qualified to take part in any other".620 This is in the nature of a drafting Amendment to ensure that people who enter for one competition can go forward to another competition without the payment of an additional entrance fee.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Deedes
I beg to move, in page 6, line 14, at the end to insert:(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the operation of any of the following enactments, that is to say—Hon. Members will appreciate that it is not the intention of the Clause to make any change in the law restricting the playing of games on licensed premises. The point is not beyond doubt, but our legal advisers think it possible that the terms of the Clause might be construed by the courts as affecting the provisions regarding gaming in licensed premises. While hon. Members may have strong views about such gaming, the Bill is not the vehicle for nor is this the time for a discussion on the widening of the provisions of the law on that subject. Such a time may come for comprehensive legislation on gaming. I hope that the House will accept the purpose of the Amendment.
- (a) section one hundred and forty-one of the Licensing Act, 1953 (which penalises the holder of a justices' licence who allows gaming or unlawful games in his premises);
- (b) section fifty-three of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903 (which penalises the holder of a certificate within the meaning of that Act in respect of any breach of the terms and conditions of the certificate, including terms and conditions as to permitting unlawful games);
- (c) section thirty-two of the Refreshment Houses Act, 1860 (which penalises the licensee of a refreshment house who allows unlawful games or gaming therein).
§ Amendment agreed to.