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before them denoting £10, £5, £25, and £1. There was an impressive stillness in the room, only broken by the voice of Mr F. Hall, one of the croupiers, who, rake in hand, gave vent to such utterances as, 'The Castor is backing in at seven, gentlemen. I'll take on the nick.' I'll take on the nick.' Then came the rattle of the dice, the bang on the table of the box, the quick announcement of the point, and the raking in of the counters on the losing columns, by the two croupiers, one of whom looked like a respectable tradesman, or a magistrate's clerk. Behind the players stood the proprietor, a tall, handsome man, with carefully trimmed white beard and moustache, more like a general than the keeper of a hell; his countenance immovable, except when it relaxed, as he replied courteously to any one who addressed him.

"He is dead, so is one of the croupiers, so are half the players, old and young, whom I first saw at the table twenty years ago, when, for the first time, I was initiated into the mysteries of hazard, how to dash down a ten, or dribble a four, as if, really, there was skill about a game which consists in rattling two dice in a box, and winning, or losing by the points they declare when rolled out on the table."

We have seen how disreputable the Turf had become in 1844. If anything, it became worse. A class of men sprung up, called "tipsters," men who pretended to have exclusive and particular stable information which they were willing to impart to their dupes, say (to quote the advertisement of one of the fraternity), Single events, 3s. 6d. Derby or Oaks, 5s. each yearly subscription, 21s.; half yearly,

That these men made a profitable business of it, there can be no doubt, for the sporting papers were full of their advertisements, some of them of great length: and, then, also began that curse attending horse racing, the betting shop-which afforded a fatal facility to all classes, to gamble, and which led to crime, and its attendant punishment.

In 1852, these houses had become such a crying scandal, that a public meeting was held on 18th June, at the Literary

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and Scientific Institution in Aldersgate Street, over which Sir Peter Laurie presided, to adopt measures for the suppression of betting houses in the City of London, and a resolution was moved, and carried unanimously, that a petition be presented to Parliament for their suppression. In the same year, at a meeting of the Aldermen at the Guildhall, the foreman of the Inquest of Farringdon Ward Without, handed in a presentment, which he said related to a subject of great importance in the City of London; the gambling and betting houses in the Ward, by which great mischief was done. Facilities were given at these houses, of which there were a great number in the Ward, for betting, from sums of threepence, or fourpence upwards; and by these means, many servants and boys, who certainly had no money of their own to bet with, were induced to lay wagers that too often led them into a career of crime.

The Druid says: "The great list era, and all its attendant Ripe-for-a-jails, as Punch termed them, began with Messrs Drummond and Greville, who 'kept an account at the Westminster Bank' in 1847. Up to that time 'sweeps,' where every subscriber drew a horse for his ticket, had been amply sufficient to satisfy the popular thirst for speculation on a Derby, or St Leger eve; and, although, in one instance, we ascertained that our ticket horse was a leader in a Shrewsbury coach, instead of being 'prepared,' it was satisfactory to know that there was, at least, fair play. Stimulated by the example of D. and G., the licensed victuallers took it up-and a nice mess they made of it-till the licensing magistrates stepped sternly in. From 1850 to the end of 1853, the listers were in their glory; and, at one period, about four hundred betting houses were open in London alone, of which, perhaps, ten were solvent."

CHAPTER XVI

Betting Houses-Their suppression in 1853-Bookmakers and their ClientsDefaulters-Dwyer's swindle-Value of Stakes.

IN Chambers' Edinburgh Journal of 24th July 1852, is an excellent article on "BETTING HOUSES." It says: "Betting Shop' is vulgar, and we dislike vulgarity. 'Commission Office,' 'Racing Bank,'' Mr Hopposite Green's Office,' 'Betting Office,' are the styles of announcement adopted by speculators, who open, what low people call, Betting Shops. The chosen designation is, usually, painted in gold letters on a chocolate coloured wire gauze blind, impervious to the view. A betting office may display on its small show board, two bronzed plaster horses, rampant, held by two Ethiopian figures, nude; or it may prefer making a show of cigars. Many offices have risen out of simple cigar shops. When this is the case, the tobacco business gives way, the slow trade and fast profession not running well together. An official appearance is always considered necessary. A partition, therefore, sufficiently high not to be peered over, runs midway across the shop, surmounted with a rail. By such means, visions are suggested to the intelligent mind, of desks, and clerks. In the partition is an enlarged pigeon hole-not far off, may be supposed to lurk the hawk-through which are received shillings, half crowns; in fact, any kind of coin or notes, no sum appearing inadmissible. The office is papered with a warm crimson paper to make it snug and comfortable, pleasant as a lounge, and casting a genial glow upon the proceedings.

"But the betting lists are the attraction—these are the dice of the betting men; a section of one of the side walls

within the office is devoted to them. They consist of long slips of paper-each race having its own slip-on which are stated the odds against the horses. Hasty and anxious are the glances which the speculator casts upon betting lists; there he sees which are the favourites, whether those he has backed are advancing, or retrograding, and he endeavours to discover, by signs and testimonies, by all kinds of movements and dodges, the knowing one's opinion. He will drop fishing words to other gazers, will try to overhear whispered remarks, will sidle towards any jockey-legged, or ecurial-costumed individual, and aim more especially at getting into the good graces of the betting office keeper, who, when his business is slack, comes forth from behind the partition, and from the duties of the pigeon hole, to stretch his legs, and hold turf converse. The betting office keeper is the speculator's divinity.

"There are various kinds of betting offices. Some are speculative, May-fly offices, open to-day, and shut to-morrow -offices that will bet any way, and against anything—that will accommodate themselves to any odds-receive any sum they can get, small or large; and, should a misfortune occur, such as a wrong horse winning, forget to open next day. These are but second rate offices. The money making, prosperous betting office is quite a different thing. It is not advisable for concerns which intend making thousands in a few years, to pay the superintendents liberally, and to keep well clothed touters to conduct themselves, in short, like speculative offices. They must not depend entirely upon chance. Chance is very well for betting men, but will not do for the respectable betting office keepers, who are the stake holders.

The plan adopted is a very simple one, but ingenious in its simplicity. The betting office takes a great dislike in its own mind to a particular horse, the favourite of the betting men. It makes bets against that horse, which amounts, in the aggregate, to a fortune; and then it buys the object of

its frantic delight. This being effected, the horse, of course, loses, and the office wins. How could it be otherwise? Would you have a horse win against its owner's interest ? The thing being settled, the office, in order to ascertain the amount of its winnings, has only to deduct the price of the horse from its aggregate bets, and arrange the remainder in a line of, perhaps, five figures. Whereupon the betting men grow seedier and more seedy: some of the more mercurial go off in a fit of apoplectic amazement; some betake themselves to Waterloo stairs on a moonless night; some proceed to the diggings, some to St Luke's, and some to the dogs; some become so unsteady, that they sign the wrong name to a draft, or enter the wrong house at night, or are detected in a crowd with their hand in the wrong man's pocket. But, by degrees, everything comes right again. The insane are shut up, the desperate transported, the dead buried, the deserted families carted to the workhouse; and the betting-office goes on as before."

The scandal, however, grew too grave to be ignored, and the Government took the matter up. On July 11, 1853, the Attorney-General rose in his place in the House of Commons, and said, he would now beg to move for leave to bring in a Bill for the suppression of betting houses, and, in doing so, he considered it was not necessary for him to make any lengthened statement on the subject, as the evils which had arisen from the introduction of these establishments were perfectly notorious, and acknowledged upon all hands. The difficulty, however, which arose in legislating upon this subject, was the disinclination which was felt against interfering with that description of betting which had so long existed at Tattersall's and elsewhere, in connection with the great national sport of horse racing. But these establishments assumed a totally different aspect-a new form of betting was introduced, which had been productive of the greatest evils. The course, now, is to open a house, and for the owner to hold himself forth as ready to bet with all comers, contrary to the usage which had prevailed at

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