This work, using new and previously ignored evidence, examines the nature of working-class gambling in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. This work should appeal to scholars interested in the recent history of Britain, working-class communities, and gambling. 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.
Dr. Keith Laybourn is currently Professor of History at the University of Huddersfield. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Lancaster.
Tables; Foreword by Professor Jeff Hill; Preface; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Brief Timeline; Introduction: An Overview of the Working-Class Culture of Gambling and Gaming; Religion and the Middle-Class Attack upon Working-Class Gambling: The National Anti-Gambling League, the Churches and the Anti-Gambling Campaigns, 1890s-1950s; Street Bookmakers 1906-1960s and the Changes after 1961; Posting the Pools and Going to the Dogs; From Prohibition to Acceptance and Recognition: Gaming, Lotteries, Draws, Whist and Premium Bonds: The 1934 Act and Subsequent Legislation c. 1930s-1950s; The Labor Party, Lotteries, Gaming and Bingo 1930s-1960; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.