Chance or skill – The Clown machine in court

"Play Up, Liverpool"

Tuesday, December 14 – 1915
The distinction between a game of skill and a game of chance was considered in the Divisional Court of the King’s Bench to-day, when the appeal against a conviction by the Liverpool Stipendiary in what is known as the Clown machine case was heard.

Counsel said the appellants, Mr. Ernest Albert Peers, manager of the Eclipse Automatic Company, a confectioner, of Liverpool, were each fined 20s., Peers for using the shop and Mrs. Taylor for permitting the shop to be used for betting purposes.

The case arose out of the use of what was known as a a Clown machine installed in Mrs. Taylor’s shop by the Eclipse Automatic Company.

Clown machine

The machine, an automatic one, stood upon a pedestal, and a person about to use it dropped a halfpenny into the slot, which released a miniature football at the top of the machine. The football…

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