Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that many Mischiefs arise from immoderate Use of Games.
Whereas all lawfull Games and Exercises should not be otherwise used than as innocent and moderate Recreations and not as constant Trades or Callings to gaine a liveing or make unlawfull Advantage thereby And whereas by the immoderate use of them many mischeifes and inconveniencies doe arise and are dayly found to the maintaining and encourageing of sundry idle loose and disorderly persons in their dishonest lewd and dissolute course of life, And to the circumventing deceiveing cousening and debauching of many of the younger sort both of the Nobility and Gentry and others to the losse of their pretious time and the [other (fn. 1) ] ruine of their Estates and Fortunes and withdrawing them from noble and laudable Imployments and Exercises Bee it ( (fn. 2)) enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That if any person or persons of any Degree or Quality whatsoever at any time or times after the Nine and twentyeth day of September which shall be in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred sixty and fower doe or shall by any fraude shift cousanage circumvention deceit or unlawfull device or ill practice whatsoever in playing at or with Cards Dice Tables Tennis Bowles Kitles Shovelboard, or in or by Cockefightings Horse-races Dog-matches ( (fn. 3)) Foot-races or other Pastimes Game or Games whatsoever, or in or by beareing a share or part in the Stakes Wagers or [Adventurers, (fn. 4)] or in or by betting on the Sides or Hands of such as doe or shall play act ride or run as aforesaid win obtaine or acquire to him or themselves or to any other or others any Summe or Summes of Money or other valueable thing or things whatsoever That then every person and persons soe offending as aforesaid shall ipso facto forfeit and lose treble the summe or value of Money or other thing or things soe won, gained obtained or acquired, The one moyetie thereof to our Soveraigne Lord the King His Heires and Successors, and the other moyetie thereof unto the person or persons greived, or who shall lose the Money or other thing or things soe gained, soe as every such loser and person greived in that behalfe doe or shall prosecute and sue for the same within six Kalender Moneths [nex (fn. 5)] after such Play. And in defaulte of such prosecution the same other Moyetie to such person or persons as shall or will prosecute or sue for the same within one Yeare next after the said Six Monthes expired, And that the said Forfeitures shall or may be sued for or recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of his Majestyes Courts at Westminster wherein noe Essoyne Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed, And that [all and (fn. 6)] all and every such Plaintiffe or Plaintiffes Informer or Informers shall in every such Suite [and (fn. 7)] Prosecution have and recover his and their treble Costs against the person offending and forfeiting as aforesaid Any Law Statute Custome or Usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
II. Contracts and Specialties for Money won at Play, above £100. at one time, void.
And for the better avoiding and preventing of all excessive and immoderate playing and gameing for the time to come Bee it further ordained and enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any person or persons shall at any time or times after the Nine and twentyeth day of September aforesaid play at any of the said Games or any other Pastime Game or Games whatsoever (other than with and for ready money) or shall bett on the Sides or Hands of such as doe or shall play thereat and shall lose any summe or summes of Money or other thing or things soe plaid for exceeding the summe of One Hundred pounds at any one time or meeting upon Ticket or Credit or otherwise and shall not pay downe the same at the time when he or they shall soe lose the same The partie and partyes who loseth or shall lose the said moneyes or other thing or things soe plaid or to be plaid for above the said summe of One hundred pounds shall not in that case be bound or compelled or compellable to pay or make good the same but the Contract and Contracts for the same and for every part thereof and all and singular Judgements Statutes Recognizances Mortgages Conveyances Assurances Bonds Bills Specialtyes Promises Covenants Agreements and other Acts Deeds and Securityes whatsoever which shall be obtained made given acknowledged or entered into for security or satisfaction of, or for the same or any part thereof shall be utterly void and of none effect And that the [said (fn. 6)] person or persons soe wining, the said moneyes or other things shall be utterly forfeite and lose treble the value of all such summe and summes of money or other thing and things which he shall soe [winne (fn. 8)] gaine obtaine or acquire above the said summe of One hundred pounds, the one moyetie thereof to our said Soveraigne Lord the King His Heires and Successors, and the other moyety thereof to such person or persons as shall prosecute or sue for the same within one yeare next after the time of such Offence committed, And to be sued for by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of his Majestyes Courts [of Record (fn. 8)] at Westminster wherein noe Essoigne Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed. And that every such Plaintiffe or Plaintiffies Informer or Informers shall in every such Suite and Prosecution have and receivee his treble Costs against the person and persons offending and forfeiting as aforesaid, Any Law Custome or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.