Sports gambling during the Second World War: a British entertainment for critical times or a national evil?

Huggins, Mike (2015) Sports gambling during the Second World War: a British entertainment for critical times or a national evil? International Journal of the History of Sport, 32 (5). pp. 667-683. Full text not available from this repository.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2015.1030736

Abstract

The catastrophe of the Second World War had a significant effect on British social and economic life, with less leisure and more time and energy spent on the war effort, yet sports betting survived. The paper begins by examining the arguments strongly advanced by vociferous anti-betting groups in the first years after the outbreak of war, and assesses their limited success. Assessments of betting turnover suggest an initial decline in betting, largely perhaps because of the brief curtailment of horse racing, dog racing, and football, the three principal betting media. The paper explores some of the reasons why it then once more increased, according to the surveys of the Churches Committee on Gambling or Mass Observation. The argument focuses on provision and betting organization: the continued legal opportunities within Britain, including new ‘unity’ football pools, the reopening of some English racecourses and dog-tracks, and the new opportunities created by illegal ready-money bookmakers, such as Irish horse-racing results, which were unaffected by the war. The national government took the view that the betting sports were ‘entertainments’ and ‘in the public interest’, and also helped by providing scarce petrol to assist with the movement of horses and dogs to meetings.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of the History of Sport
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1743-9035
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of the Arts > Humanities
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2017 17:06
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 17:09
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2626

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