HAIFA — A few years ago an prize of IL.I00,000 (eqquivalent to
application to permit legalized bet- I $33,000) down to refund of the one
ting on horse racing in Israel was I dollar. The winning numbers are
indignantly turned down by the publicly drawn from a rotating
country's lawmakers as unbefitting drum which is electrically spun.
More recently a soccer pool was
the Holy Land. An inquiry regard-
ing the opening of a Monte Carlo founded, and has been attracting
style casino was given similar Increasing numbers of players. The
participant must choose the win-
ners (or tie) in twelve week-end
Yet gambling is big business in
soccer games. Profits of the enter-
Israel. and in the past year alone
prise (after "expenses" and prizes)
had a legal turnover of about
are distributed for construction of
sports facilities. New soccer pools
It all came about as the result sprang up in the wake of the
of a loophole in the anti-gambling success of the first. Trying to stem
laws, which has not yet been the tide, the Government refused
plugged up. Although the law for- to issue new licenses, but the Su-
bids games of chance, the Govern- preme Court ruled that so long as
ment is authorized to license lot- an applicant complies with the law,
teries if they are for the benefit and distributes his "profits" to
of good causes. Accordingly, a worthy causes, the authorities can
number of charitable organizations not discriminate by withholding
conduct properly licensed annual approval.
raffles, in which the prizes are trips
Today the Payis sells about
abroad, automobiles. etc. Most pop- 600.000 tickets a week, and the
ular of these raffles are conducted soccer pools about 380,000.
by the Soldiers Welfare Committee
The authorities keep a close eye
and the Red Magen David.
on the operations. Attempts to alter
Fifteen years ago a numbers ticket number or otherwise defraud
lottery, known as Mifal liapayis, the lotteries are usually detected.
was also autb orized. and has been In one case a police officer was as-
dividing its profits (after expenses, signed to , investigate one of the
administration and prize money)
newer soccer pools. He made a
among hospitals and schools. thorough study of the enterprise
Tickets are sold at one dollar each, from top to bottom, exposed some
and drawings are held weekly. questionable practise, and they
Thousands of prizes are given out went out of business. But what he
—ranging all the way from top had learned caught his fancy. He
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
8—Friday, May 19, 1967
Gambling Big Business in Israel — $50 Million Worth
resigned from the police force and
went into business with another,
competitive pool. Presumably he
knew how to keep it above board.
Successful in Israel, the lottery
business has attracted the atten-
tion of many of the young ,
developing countries which seek to
channel their citizens' gambling
instincts along constructive lines.
Experts from the Mifal Hapayis
have assisted in setting up similar
lotteries in Sierra Leone,
Cameroons, Togo, Tanzania and
Israel's lawmakers are not
happy, however, and new legisla-
tion is now being prepared to
restrict the operations — perhaps
to permit only one, monopolistic
lottery, under more strict govern-
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