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Policing MoralsThe Metropolitan Police and the Home Office 1870–1914$
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Stefan Petrow

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201656.001.0001

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Powerful Interests

Powerful Interests

(p.253) 9 Powerful Interests
Policing Morals

Stefan Petrow

Oxford University Press

In the early 19th century, the once upper-class vice of betting trickled down to the lower class even to the lowest level in the social strata. Betting became popular amongst the working classes in the streets and in factories. There was a decline in large bets and the rise of smaller bets by many. There was also an increase in the usage of newspapers and other posts as mediums for furthering the business of gambling. This chapter discusses betting in the Victorian period and the different moral views towards this activity. The chapter also discusses the different legislations and laws used as measures against betting as well as the inadequacy of these legislated laws to curb if not stop betting. The chapter also discusses the failure and weakness of the Metropolitan Police to impose significant policing methods on betting caused by weak laws and the vested interest of the wealthy and the powerful which was supported by Parliament.

Keywords:   vice, betting, bets, business of gambling, gambling, policing methods, vested interest, powerful

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