Working-class gambling in Britain c. 1906-1960s: The stages of the political debate

Abstract

This book examines the class nature of gambling in Britain which made the off-course ready-money gambling of the working-class illegal while permitting the middle-class off-course credit gambling. It rejects the views of the National Anti-Gambling League that working-class gambling was an excessive waste of money and suggests that it was, by and large, 'a bit of a flutter' by the working classes. Using rarely used Home Office and police evidence, it suggests that both the police and the Home Office would have liked the Street Betting Act of 1906, and other restrictive legislation, removed since it was an impediment to good relations with the working classes upon which the police relied for evidence of serious crimes.

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