Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Publications

Project 58 - Section 2 of the Gaming Act

Project No. 58

Commenced: 1975
Completed: 1977

The law of securities for gaming debts was regulated by legislation dating back to 1664. Since that time, many statutes had been passed which resulted in great complexity and uncertainty, particularly in respect of the civil liability arising from a gaming debt contract.

The Gaming Act 1835 (Imp) was an English imperial statute that was adopted in Western Australia by an Ordinance passed in 1844. Under s 2 of the Act, a person who has given a ‘note, bill or mortgage’ as security for, or in satisfaction of, a gaming debt and who actually pays to any ‘indorsee, holder or assignee’ of such security the money secured, may recover that money from the person to whom he gave the security.

Although actions under s 2 were rare in Western Australia, on at least four occasions action had been threatened. This was a source of anxiety for bookmakers as it gave people paying a betting debt by cheque an opportunity to recover the value of the cheque.

Terms of Reference

In 1975 the Commission was asked to consider whether s 2 of the Gaming Act 1835 (Imp) should be amended or repealed.

Outcomes

The Commission’s recommendations were fully implemented by a sequence of legislative action, which ultimately repealed the whole the Act. The first stage of the Commission’s recommended regime was implemented in 1978 by amendments to s 5 of the Betting Control Act 1954 (WA). In 1985, amendments were made to the Police Act so that it no longer applied to securities given in payment for, or satisfaction of, bets unauthorised by the Betting Control Act. Further amendments to the Police Act provided for the enforcement of contracts relating to prescribed gaming or betting. In the same year, the Act was repealed in full and a declaration made that the Acts of 16 Car.11 C.7 and 9 Anne C.14 did not have effect in Western Australia.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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