Illegal lottery at the Brighouse Empire [1915]

In 1915, Gene Morelle (described as the Yankee Millionaire) and Fred Reynolds (licensee of the Brighouse Empire) were charged under the Lottery Act; Morelle was charged with holding a lottery, and Reynolds with aiding and abetting the said lottery.

A report in the Halifax Courier [10th April 1915] described how, on the 23rd, 24th and 25th March, Morelle had appeared on stage at the Brighouse Empire, before audiences of around 800 people, and given instructions - such as

- to 2 assistants (Percy and Cyril) to distribute postal orders from 6d to £1 to members of the audience.

At the prosecution, the Bench were of the opinion that it was a lottery, and that such conduct ought to be put a stop to.

Reynolds's defence was that

he did not think it was a lottery, but merely a showman's method of advertising.

Morelle was fined £10 (or 3 months' imprisonment)  and Reynolds was find £2 (or 1 month's imprisonment).

The court heard that Morelle had been previously convicted at Consett and in Lancaster for similar offences

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 14:54 / 29th March 2023 / 3171

Page Ref: X577

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