The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Gaming Contracts

  • E. Schuster
Reference work entry


Contracts of this description are declared to be null and void by an act passed during the present reign [of Queen Victoria] (8 & 9 Vict. c. 109. p. 18). Notwithstanding this act it was held that a betting agent who had paid the amount due by his principal on the loss of a bet was entitled to recover the same from the latter (Read v. Anderson, 10 Queen’s Bench Division 100; 13 Queen’s Bench Division 779), but this indirect recognition of betting transactions has lately been set aside by the Gaming Act of 1892, which enacts that no action shall be brought to recover any sum of money paid in respect of any gaming or wagering contract. The subject of gaming contracts has recently been discussed with reference to the ‘missing word competitions’ organized by certain newspapers, which were held to be illegal, as the result did not depend on skill and judgement but upon mere chance (Barclay v. Pearson (1893), 2 Chancery 154). The principle of the statute against gaming and wagering contracts was, to a certain extent, already recognized by the statute of 14 Geo. III. c. 48, which forbids the insurance of a life in which the insurer has no interest, and which is still in force.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Schuster
    • 1
  1. 1.