HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 c498
24. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the undesirable social consequences of unlimited increases in football pool prizes, which have taken place since the Report of the Royal Commission on Betting and Lotteries, he will now take action to impose a limit on these prizes.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Legislation would be required to impose a compulsory limit, and I cannot hold out any hope of its introduction by the Government at the present time.

Mr. Lipton

Does the Home Secretary realise that the situation has got quite out of hand, because one football pool "ratted" or wriggled out of a voluntary agreement to limit pool dividends? Will he bear in mind that the Royal Commission on Betting and Lotteries recommended that pool prizes should be limited by law? Is not it desirable that if there is any jam to be spread, it should be spread a little more evenly? Is not it better to have ten prizes of £30,000 than one of £300,000, and that the second and third dividends should be a little larger than at the moment? Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to stand by and do nothing about it?

Mr. Butler

The recommendations of the Royal Commission in this respect were not carried into effect by the Pool Betting Act, 1954. What are the social consequences following upon the gaining of such a large prize is a matter of individual opinion. At the moment, I can hold out no hope of Government action.