Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Saturday 27 May 1899
Street Betting At New Conisborough.
At the Doncaster West Riding Court this morning two charges were heard against a bookmaker named John Gough, of frequenting the Denaby Road, Conisborough, for the purpose of betting, on the l6th and 17th of May.
Mr. Baddiley, solicitor, appeared for the defendant.
Police-constable stated that on the date in question at eight a.m. he and Police-constable Waller secreted themselves to watch for street betters. At. 11.30 John Gough went and stood near the Denaby Main Hotel. About 40 men were there, and the defendant immediately commenced taking bets. He received money and slips paper from men, women and children.
They watched until 3.20 p.m. and during the time they kept guard 206 bets were put down in the book. On the following day they again secreted themselves in the same place. The defendant went about the same time. 11.30, and commenced taking bets. They watched until two p.m. when they left their hiding place. Sergeant Brown afterwards met them, and they told Gough he would be reported for street betting, but he made no reply.
Mr. Baddiley: I believe on those days it was York Races?
Mr. Baddiley -. And a lot of interest taken them locally?
Mr. Baddiley said he did not intend to dispute the officer’s statement. He did not think all the by-laws ; that were ever made would prevent Englishmen from betting, the defendant included. Nothing, he said would alter the facts, the defendant was betting, and he did not think anything done that day would stop it. So long as England was England, betting would take place.
Unfortunately, the defendant had been caught at it, and he asked the Bench to treat him as lightly as possible. Of course, it was not such great offence as some people tried to make out. It looked perfect farce that men could bet at Doncaster and not at Denaby. The law said the man could not bet at Denaby, he must go to Doncaster Racecourse to do it. He asked the Bench to inflict a small penalty.
Defendant was ordered to pay 10s. and costs each case.