Wagers


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
"We will be even with your father one of these days, though he has won the wager this time!"
"Nathless, I tell you now, your wager is in jeopardy, for there never were such bowmen as Tepus and Clifton and Gilbert!"
"I must see if there be none present to aid me in my wager. Boy, call hither Sir Richard of the Lea and my lord Bishop of Hereford!"
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."
But I would wager four thousand pounds that such a journey, made under these conditions, is impossible."
Fogg," said he, "it shall be so: I will wager the four thousand on it."
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." "Knowest thou not," said another, "that thou hast killed the King's deer, and, by the laws of our gracious lord and sovereign King Harry, thine ears should be shaven close to thy head?"
"A fair wager!" cried all the travellers, moving back their benches and trestles, so as to give fair field for the wrestlers.
'I will wager,' said Jasper, smiling--his lips were still so white that he was conscious of it, and bit and moistened them while speaking: 'I will wager that she hinted no wish to be released from Ned.'