asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that most of the official organisations connected with flat racing and steeplechasing are in favour of the totalisator in preference to bookmaking, some to the total exclusion of the latter, he will take steps to legalise totalisator betting on licensed harness race tracks.
Special considerations apply as regards the horserace totalisator, which is operated by a statutory body for the benefit of the horseracing and breeding industry in general. The 1951 Royal Commission saw objections to permitting additional facilities for totalisator betting on other sports. While I should not now regard their recommendations as conclusive, there is no early prospect of legislation to amend the relevant part of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1963.
Is it not absurd that the statutory board, whose interests are in gallopers, should have to take a decision about totalisators on race tracks for pacers and trotters, which is a new sport since 1951 and which brings in to the State of New York a revenue of 65 million dollars a year in tax revenue?
There is something for consideration here, and we do not regard existing legislation as sacrosanct. But there is no early possibility of amending legislation. The proposals already announced for the amendment of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act are confined to Part II of the Act, relating to gaming.