September 17, 2007
Gambling Debts Now Enforceable in U.K.
Britain’s Gambling Act of 2005 -- which comes into effect this year -- has garnered a lot of attention. But one aspect of the new law hasn’t gotten much play, according to Carl Rohsler of London’s Hammonds. It’s the sentence in the act that says, "the fact that a contract relates to gambling shall not affect its enforcement."
That sweeping statement, says Rohsler, "wipes out over 200 years of precedent . . . not only in the UK but also in most common law jurisdictions around the world, that gambling contracts are debts of honour only." Gambling houses that once had to demand that gamblers cough up the cash in advance (because they could not collect the debts in court) can now lend money to gamblers and collect their debts in the usual way. Rohsler’s comments on this development are here. A more general introduction to the Act, by Paul Renney of London’s Campbell Hooper, is here. (Free registration required for each.)
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