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Hitherto we have prescinded from positive law in our treatment of the question of gambling.It is, however, a matter on which both the civil and the canon law have much to say.What is staked must belong to the gambler and must be at his free disposal.It is wrong, therefore, for the lawyer to stake the money of his client, or for anyone to gamble with what is necessary for the maintenance of his wife and children.There must be no fraud in the transaction, although the usual ruses of the game may be allowed.

Time bargains, difference transactions, options, and other speculative dealings on the exchanges, which are so common nowadays, add to the malice of gambling special evils of their own.In the United States the subject lies outside the province of the Federal Government, but many of the States make gambling a penal offence when the bet is upon an election, a horse-race, or a game of chance.Betting contracts and securities given upon a bet are often made void.It thus belongs to the class of aleatory contracts which the gain or loss of the parties depends on an uncertain event.It is not gambling, in the strict sense, if a bet is laid on the issue of a game of skill like billiards or football.

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