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Present: Jayewardene A.J.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE, MARADANA, u. STANTON.324—M. C. Colombo, 3t196.Unlawful gaming—Public place—Common . gaming place—Place t(rwhich admission was b# ticket on- payment—“ Submarine dive '*—“ Dart throwing "—What is a game played for a stake—Lottery—Games of skill played for stake—Chance not necessaryelement of offence of unlawful gaming.
Chance is not- a necessary clement in the offence of unlawfulgaming.
The game called " submarine dive ** (described in the judgment)was held to be a game played for a stake and not a lottery.
Hay ley (with him de Jong), for accused, appellant.
M. W. H. de Silva, for Crown, respondent.
July 1, 1924. Jayewardene A.J.—
In this case the accused, appellant, appeals against his convictionunder section 5 of the Gaming Ordinance, 1889, for keeping acommon gaming place. The accused is the proprietor of ** Stanton'sMidway Shows,” and has been carrying on his show at Darley road,Colombo, for the last few .months. The police complain that someof the games conducted there involve unlawful gaming as defined inthe Ordinance. The games objected to are called 44 the submarinedive,” “ dart throwing,” and a game on a miniature bagatelle table.The learned Police Magistrate has convicted the accused holdingthat there is a mixed element of chance and skill in the games, and asthey are played for a stake, they amount to unlawful gaming underthe Ordinance. He has also held that the place is a “ public place ”as defined in the Ordinance. He imposed a fine of Rs. 5 only, as thepolice who had been shown these games before they were startedhad not objected to them. The accused appeals on certain points oflaw, and has also applied for a revision of the Magistrate’s findingon the facts. Counsel for the appellant very properly abandonedthe ground that the place was not a “ public place.” The learnedMagistrate had very rightly overruled this contention. A place,although a charge is made for admission to it, is nevertheless a“ public .place,” provided members of the public have access to it.The evidence shows that the public have access to it on payment ofan admission fee of 10 cents. The only point pressed before me wasthat the evidence fails to show that the games played were played
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for a stoke, and that in the case of “ the submarine dive,” whichthe appellant was most anxious to protect, there was ft lottery andnot a game for a stake. If it amounts to a lottery, the accusedcannot be convicted, as there is an element of skill involved in it.'The decision of this point must depend on the view taken of the facts.The description of the games given by the complainant is not in•dispute. The “ submarine dive ” is played in this way. There is aminiature submarine in a tank almost full of water. It is workedby electricity. There are 48 numbers marked on the inside of theupper edge of the tank. There are twelve tiokets each containingfour numbers. The price of each ticket varies from Re. 1 to Rs. 10.The holder of the ticket containing the number against which the•submarine has stopped is given a movable switch, and asked toswitch on, then the submarine dives and keeps going round andround under the water. When it is switched off, this may be doneat the will of the person who works the switch, the submarine mountsto the surface, and comes to a standstill. There is a pointer on thesubmarine which points to the number against which it has stopped.This is the winning number, and the holder of the ticket containingthis number wins the prize, which, if the tickets have been sold forRe. 1, would be Rs. 10. The prize is ten times the value of theticket. Rs. 2 on every twelve rupees goes to the management.There is a certain amount of skill involved. For, if the person -whohas to manipulate the switch knows exactly when to switch off*, hecan get the •1 * submarine * * to stop opposite to his .number. Thiscan be done by practice and observation, as the position of the4* m*l>maiine ” can be located by the movement of the water. Mr.Hayley contends that there is no ” stake ** in the game, but that themoney received from the players is collected in the hands of the manin charge who pays ten out of the twelve rupees collected to thewinner, retaining two for the accused. There would be a great•deal in this contention if the facts support it. But Mr. de Silvacontends that, although there is a collection, and the winner is paid•out of this collection, yet the management invites the public to playthe game promising to pay Rs. 10 for every one that is paid for aticket. The players are not concerned with one another, they lookto the management for the payment of the prize, and it is im-material to them whether .all the twelve tickets are sold or not. Itmay often happen that all the tickets are not sold. The manage-ment does not say that the game would not be played unless all thetickets are sold, or that the prize would come out of the moneycontributed by the players. The management assures the playersthat if the game is played, the winner would get ten "times the amounthe paid for his ticket. This seems to me to be the correct view. Ifthis is so, it becomes unnecessary to discuss the authorities cited byMr. Hayley in support of the contention that this was a lottery. Itis a game played for a stake. Unlawful gaming, as defined in the
Inspector ofPolice,Maradona,v, Stanton
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Inspector o]Police,Maradona,v. Stanton
Gaming Ordinance of 1889, includes playing a game for a stake inany place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not,and a “ common gaming place ” includes a place kept for theplaying of games for stakes to which the public may have accesswith or without payment. The game—“ the submarine dive ”—istherefore prohibited under the Ordinance. Ag regards “ dartthrowing ”—the contention is that it is *n “ athletic exercise ”Within the meaning of section 18 of the Gaming Ordinance,and is not prohibited whether played for a Btake or not. I do notthink that the game of “ dart throwing ” described ii^ the evidencecan be regarded as an “ athletic exercise ” in any sense. Withregard to the game played on the miniature bagatalle table, it issaid that this is the well-known game of bagatelle, which it is not anoffence to play, whether for a' stake or not, under the same section.The game described in the evidence is not the ordinary game ofbagatelle at all, but an entirely different game for which a minia-ture bagatelle table is utilized. The appellant has not broughthimself within the provisions of section 18.
The learned Magistrate was, in my opinion, also quite rightin holding that the games objected to were games of mixed chanceand skill. Our Ordinance makes the playing of any game for astake an offence, if played in the circumstances stated in section 3 ofthe Ordinance, and in Modder v. Silva 1 Wood Renton C.J. (thenWood Renton J.) held that playing a game for a stake, though thegame be one of skill alone, was an offence under the GamingOrdinance, 1889, and that chance was not a necessary element ofunlawful gaming..
The Magistrate has come to a right conclusion on the facts and onthe law, and the appeal must be dismissed.
0912) 1SN.L.S. 189.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE, MARADANA, v. STATION