GAMING BILL, 1923.—FIRST STAGE.

I am asking the leave of the Dáil to introduce this Bill. I am doing so on behalf of Deputy O'Higgins. It raises a less serious issue than we have been discussing. The Bill is to repeal Section 2 of the Gaming Act, 1835. The effect of Section 2 of that Act was to enable any person who had paid money in consideration of a gaming transaction to, let us say, a bookmaker, to sue for a refund, or to enable a bookmaker to sue for a refund of any money which he had paid in respect of losses. That is the law in Ireland. It is not the law in any other country. As a matter of practice, both parties got over it by ignoring it, and as a rule no cases came into court. The matter became really serious when either party died, because an executor was compelled to sue. An executor has no discretion. You had cases where executors were sueing in consideration of gaming transactions for money that had been paid four or five years previously. I think you also had cases where executors of bookmakers were suing for losses which the bookmarker had paid by cheque or bill. These actions only arise where money is paid by bill, cheque, or mortgage. This is not the law in any other country. The present position is obviously impossible, if we are to allow betting transactions to take place. This Act is merely to amend the law in that respect. In case there should be any misunderstanding, I want to explain that this Bill which we are introducing, does not amend the Gaming Act, so as to enable a bookmaker to sue for a debt. The old law remains, and a man may still plead the Gaming Act.

Question—"That leave be given to introduce the Bill"—put and agreed to.

I object, except the Minister will go the whole hog and legalise bookmaking.

I am afraid the Deputy is late.

Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 21st instant.