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Lottery System.

stamps, &c, which are generally estimated at £2 per ticket, making the mean annual profits to Government about £750,000.,

The Committee in their Report state, in case it should be necessary to continue the Lottery, the number each year should not be more than two of 30,000 tickets; that the number of days allowed for drawing, instead of 10, should be brought down to eight for each Lottery, the number fixed in 1802 ; that the number of tickets drawn on each day should be uncertain, and left to the Commissioners of Stamp Duties; that every Lottery-officekeeper, in addition to his own licence, should take out a number of licences for his agents; and that the laws which fixed the number of hours for the sale of tickets, namely, from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening, should be renewed, without the exception of Saturday night..

In 1816 an attempt was made in the House of Commons to abolish Lotteries entirely. From the debates on that occasion it appears that there are three lotteries in each year, determined at six different drawings. The net proceeds to the Treasury about £558,240. The individuals employed by Government in this departmentThree Comptrollers, salaries each.

£600 Five Certificate Commissioners, ditto

350 Twenty-one Commissioners

200 The contract selling price of tickets from 1804 to 1816, was from £14 ty £19, and the price of a sixteenth from 28s. to 40s.* Mr. ColQUHOUN states in his Police of the Metropolis, page 142, that one contractor acquired no less than £60,000 during one Lottery. The same writer, page 144, affirms, that the gainbling and Lottery transactions of one individual in the metropolis, produces FIFTEEN SUICIDES ANNUALLY!

In May, 1819, Mr. LYTTLETON again brought this murderous and mountebank calling before the House of Commons. Among other frauds resorted to by the contractors, he stated, that it was their constant practice to hold out to the public that a greater proportion of tickets were drawn on the first day than actually were drawn. After the first day's drawing they spread large placards over the town, stating in Farge letters, Capital wheel, only one prize drawn,” which raises the price of the tickets consider

ably. After a second day's drawing, a siinilar farce is acted; so that the - public suppose that two-thirds of the tickets are drawn when not more than

one-fifth is actually diawn. In one lottery of 8000 tickets, only 350 had

*Monthly Magazine, October, 1816. Mr. Goodman on Lotteries.

Lottery System.

been drawn on the first day, when puffs were circulated, stating, that onethird were actually drawn. In consequence of these puffs, after the first day's drawing, the price of a ticket rose from £19:10s. to £21: 10$. ; an advance greatly disproportionate to the diminished number of tickets, and a gross imposition on the public.

The lottery drawn in November, 1818, consisted of 14,000 tickets, of which 2863 were prizes, and consequently 11,135 blanks. Of the number of prizes, 2810 only were £10 prizes; so that, in reality, out of the 14,000 tickets, there were only 55 prizes deserving of the name. The contractors, however, held out the delusion that the prizes were as numerous as the blanks, although the odds against the holder of a ticket were no less than 253 to 1. The profits of the contractors were most enormous. In the year's lotteries where 60,000 tickets were sold, £300,000 was produced to the Government, and £400,000 to the contractors; so that, between the two, a contribution of £700,000 was levied on the folly and credulity of the people.

During the debate, various instances were related of the mischievous effects of the Lottery, and of the infatuation which blinded the dupes of this species of gambling. A prize frequently was the ruin of a whole town or village, by exciting among the inhabitants a propensity to engage in this losing game.

Mr. Buxton related a curious instance of a village, where there was a benefit society for the support of the sick and the aged. In a town in the neighbourhood, there was an association of a different kind, formed for speculating in the lottery ; a prize was gained of two or three thousand pounds, which immediately brought the poor benefit society into .contempt, and a Lottery Club, at which hoth old and young subscribed, was substituted in its place. In a few years both the Lottery Club and the benefit society failed; Mr. BUXTON, on inquiring the cause of the bankruptcy of these establishments, was told by one of the members, that somehow they had been singularly unlucky, that they had gained but few prizes, and unaccountable as it might seem, these prizes were no better than blanks. The fall of the Lottery Club had dragged down with it the ruin of the benefit society.

Various baits are used by the Lottery-office-keepers to attract their prey. Sometimes it is declared that the winners of certain tickets shall be paid in tons of wine, sometimes in guineas; and Mr. Buxton mentioned one con- , tractor who, among other particulars in his scheme, conferred extraordinary privileges upon Englishmen! Of this niountebank's scheme, the grand


Lottery System.

total was 40,000 guineas; there were prizes some of a large and others of a smaller amount; and there were 10,200 blanks, including some prizes of a very small denomination. It was supposed, on a fair calculation, that these 10,000 blanks were held by 100,000 persons. One ticket was held by no less than 28 persons, and from an account which had been kept of their employment and circumstances, it appeared that they were all extremely poor, and of that unfortunate class most likely to be led astray by the fraudulent allurements of the Lottery. The infatuation, indeed, of having recourse to this delusive scheme of bettering their condition, extends even to the workhouse. It was proved in evidence before the House, that in the workhouse in the parish of Spitalfields, the poorest spot in London, the paupers actually subscribed together to buy a Lottery-ticket. The money was raised by these wretched people by, instalments of froin one halfpenny to sixpence each.

From the statement of Mr. Alderman Wood, it appears that little gocs are by no means suppressed in London ; on the contrary, they have greatly increased in number within the last three years, chiefly from the continuance of the State Lottery. The practice also of the fraudulent insurance of numbers still continues to be carried on. In the house of one man who existed by these nefarious means, and who had accumulated, from the credulity of his dupes, 100 guineas in gold, £70 in silver, and a large hoard of copper, was found a paper containing a list of the names of the in-, surers; they were of various classes,-clerks in public offices, merchants, and tradesmen. One infatuated woman, the wife of an industrious man, who earned at his employment two guineas a week, had carried her con viction of the efficacy of these insurances and her certainty of obtaining & prize so far, that she completely ruined him, and he died, amidst want, disease, and wretchedness, of a broken heart.

Such are a few of the frauds and evils proved to result from the Lottery system. We will insert the resolutions moved by Mr. Lyttleton for the abolition of this nuisance, and which was the last attempt to accomplish this salutary measure. The resolutions were,

1st.-That, by the establishment of State-Lotteries, a spirit of gambling, injurious in the highest degree to the morals of the people, is encouraged and provoked.

2d.--That such a spirit, manifestly weakening the habits of industry, must diminish the sources of the public revenue.

3d.—That the said Lotteries have given rise to other systems of gambling,

Lottery System.

which have been but partially suppressed by laws, whose provisions are extremely arbitrary, and their enforcement liable to the greatest abuse. t4th-That this House, therefore, will no longer authorise the establishment of State Lotteries under any system of regulation whatever.

These resolutions, the allegations of which it were impossible to deny, were negatived by a very large majority: the Chancellor of the Exche quer, the president of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and who, next to Mr. Wilberforce, is the most moral and religious man in the kingdom, being the principal defender of the Lottery system. Some of the arguments of this gentleman are singular. After adverting to the gain of the revenue by the Lottery, which he stated at about £300,000, he cona tinued asfollows:

****. Infact, every man, without abandoning his duty to his family or risk ing any large sum, might venture without disgrace into this species of innom cent speculation. It was most unfair and unfounded to argue that a spirit of gambling arose out of the Lotteries; on the contrary, it was checked and controuled by them. If it were not for the large establishments kept up by those concerned in Lotteries, to put down little goes, all kinds of low gambling would be carried on: if Lotteries were withdrawn from operation; something much worse would be substituted. As to the prizes in wine, of which so much had been said, they were merely gifts and boons by the Côntractors-no part of the sums to which the tckets were entitled, but thrown in as a sort of bounty to enterprise. If habits of industry were established, and a better system of domestic economy were introduced, by which the permanent revenue would be augmented, and the sale of LotteryTickets diminished, no man would be more delighted than himself: he feared, however, that these objects would not soon be attained, thougla improved education might do much, and until they were, he was anxious tu ret the Lottery, as a sort of LEGAL drain for money, which otherwise would be wasted in the gratification of some of the lowest vices."

We consider this extract a precious morsel, and a fair specimen of the moral logic of Church and State. It is really amusing to see with what specious sophistry our social order men can smear over any darling and profitable vice of their own. Here is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, wlose mind is a living abstract of all the deleterious elements by which the Borough System is supported, contending that gambling in the Lottery is an innocent speculation, and the knavish offerings of the Contractors, by which they defraud their dupes, are mere bounties to enterprise. Surely,

Lottery System.

Mr. Chancellor, you do not deem that an innocent speculation, which the Report of the Committee of 1809, of which Mr. Whitbread was Chairman, declared to be productive of idleness, dissipation, and madness," and which Mr. COLQUHOUN affirms to be productive of self-murder to an almost incredible extent?

As to the assertion that the State Lottery controuls and checks the spirit of gambling, it is obviously erroneous. The spirit of adventure excited by the State Lottery, naturally creates other species of gambling; and we have the testimony of Alderman Wood, that it'is principally to the State Lottery that the little goes, and fraudulent insurances are to be ascribed. But the last part of the argument is the most amusing, where the Chancellor contends that his Lottery is a “sort of LEGAL drain for money which otherwise would be wasted in some of the lowest vices;">—In other words, there are, according to the opinion of the Chancellor, some persons who have a certain quantity of money to throw away, and if they do not throw it away in his Lottery, they will throw it away in something worse. This position is false both in fact and principle. It does not appear that speculators in the Lottery are of that class who have any superfluous money to waste upon any object; they are generally the most destitute portion of the coinmunity-not remarkable so much for their dissipated habits, as for their credulity and weakness, which render them a prey to the fraudulent representations of the Lottery Contractors. 'Again, as to the Lottery being a preventive of worse vices. To admit such a principle of defence, would open a door to every species of vice and licentiousness. Even the keeper of a brothel might contend his establishment was a preventive of worse evils. In short, there is hardly any species of crime or iniquity which on such grounds might not be defended and extenuated.

In persisting in mountebank scheme of raising the revenue of a great nation, the financial talents of Mr. Vansittart, do not shine more than his morality. Leaving out of consideration the injury to the industrious habits of the people, and the increase of the poor rates, the present mode of raising the revenue by the Lottery is contrary to the first principles of political economy. The first object of a financier ought to be to bring as large a sum as possible into the public treasury, by taking the 'smallest possible sum out of the pockets of the people. Adam Smith says, "Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the state.Further on, he continues, " All nations

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