Wagers


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WAGERS. A wager is a bet a contract by which two parties or more agree that a certain sum of money, or other thing, shall be paid or delivered to one of them, on the happening or not happening of an uncertain event.
     2. The law does not prohibit all wagers. 1 Browne's Rep. 171 Poth. du Jeu, n. 4.
     3. To restrain wagers within the bounds of justice the following conditions must be observed: 1. Each of the parties must have the right to dispose of the thing which is the object of the wager. 2. Each must give a perfect and full consent to the contract, 3. There must he equality between the parties. 4. There must be good faith between them. 5. The wager must not be forbidden by law. Poth. du
     4. In general, it seems that a wager is legal and maybe enforced in a court of law 3 T. R. 693, if it be not, 1st, Contrary to public policy, or immoral; or if it do not in some other respect tend to the detriment of the public. 2d. If it do not affect the interest, feelings, or character of a third person.
     5.-1. Wagers on the event of an election laid before the poll is open; 1 T. R. 56. 4 Johns. 426; 4 Harr. & McH. 284; or after it is closed; 8 Johns. 454, 147; 2 Browne's Rep. 182; are unlawful. And wagers are against public policy if they are in restraint of marriage; 10 East, R. 22; made as to the mode of playing an illegal game; 2 H. Bl. 43; 1 Nott & McCord, 180; 7 Taunt. 246; or on an abstract speculative question of law or judicial practice, not arising out of circumstances in which the parties have a real interest. 12 East, R. 247, and Day's notes, sed vide Cowp. 37.
     6.-2. Wagers as to the sex of an individual Cowp. 729; or whether an unmarried woman had borne or would have a child; 4 Campb. 152, are illegal; as unnecessarily leading to painful and indecent considerations. The supreme court of Pennsylvania have laid it down as a rule, that every bet about the age, or height, or weight, or wealth, or circumstances, or situation of any person, is illegal; and this whether the subject of the bet be man, woman, or child, married or single, native or foreigner, in this country or abroad. 1 Rawle, 42. And it seems that a wager between two coach-proprietors, whether or not a particular person would go by one of their coaches is illegal, as exposing that person to inconvenience. 1 B. & A. 683.
     7. In the case even of a legal wager, the authority of a stakeholder, like that of an arbitrator, may be rescinded by either party before the event happens. And if after his authority has been countermanded, and the stake has been demanded, he refuse to deliver it, trover or assumpsit for money had and received is maintainable. 1 B. & A. 683. And where the wager is in its nature illegal, the stake may be recovered, even after the event, on demand made before it has been paid over. 4 Taunt. 474; 5 T. R. 405; sed vide 12 Johns. 1. See further on this subject, 7 Johns. 434; 11 Johns. 23; 10 Johns. 406,468; 12 Johns. 376; 17 Johns. 192; 15 Johns. 5; 13 Johns. 88; Mann. Dig. Gaming; Harr. Dig. Gaining; Stakeholder.

References in classic literature ?
I must see if there be none present to aid me in my wager.
Would'st advise me to meet a wager of the King's, that I can produce other archers as good as Tepus and Gilbert and Clifton?
Come hither, my lord Bishop of Hereford," quoth she, "would'st thou advance a sum to support my wager 'gainst the King?
An you pardon me, I would add to the King's wager that his men are invincible.
I'll take it at even money," she said, dismissing him; "and Your Majesty"--turning to the King who had been conversing with the two princes and certain of the nobles--"I accept your wager of five hundred pounds.
Know that I have laid a wager with the King that ye can outshoot the best five whom he has found in all his bowmen.
Then turning to his five victorious archers, who had drawn near, he added, "Ye have heard, my men, how that I have a wager with the Queen upon your prowess.
We will be even with your father one of these days, though he has won the wager this time
A true Englishman doesn't joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager," replied Phileas Fogg, solemnly.
A memorandum of the wager was at once drawn up and signed by the six parties, during which Phileas Fogg preserved a stoical composure.
Then all the foresters were filled with rage, and he who had spoken the first and had lost the wager was more angry than all.
Nay," cried he, "the wager is none of thine, and get thee gone, straightway, or, by all the saints of heaven, I'll baste thy sides until thou wilt ne'er be able to walk again.