CHAPTER 924
WAGERING CONTRACTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 52-553. Wagers and wagering contract void.
Sec. 52-554. Recovery of money lost in gaming.

      Sec. 52-553. Wagers and wagering contract void. All wagers, and all contracts and securities of which the whole or any part of the consideration is money or other valuable thing won, laid or bet, at any game, horse race, sport or pastime, and all contracts to repay any money knowingly lent at the time and place of such game, race, sport or pastime, to any person so gaming, betting or wagering, or to repay any money lent to any person who, at such time and place, so pays, bets or wagers, shall be void, provided nothing in this section shall (1) affect the validity of any negotiable instrument held by any person who acquired the same for value and in good faith without notice of illegality in the consideration, (2) apply to the sale of a raffle ticket pursuant to section 7-172, or (3) apply to any wager or contract otherwise authorized by law.

      (1949 Rev., S. 6785; P.A. 03-60, S. 2; P.A. 10-36, S. 10.)

      History: P.A. 03-60 made technical changes, designated existing proviso as Subdiv. (1) and added Subdiv. (2) providing that nothing in section shall apply to the sale of a raffle ticket pursuant to Sec. 7-172; P.A. 10-36 added Subdiv. (3) providing that nothing in section shall apply to any wager or contract otherwise authorized by law, effective July 1, 2010.

      A wager is illegal at common law. 15 C. 30. All wagering contracts are void by statute and money deposited with stakeholder is recoverable. Id., 40 C. 336; 49 C. 128; 70 C. 490. What constitutes gaming contract in margin transactions in stocks; distinguished from speculating contracts. 48 C. 127; 63 C. 198. Cited. Id. Contract of insurance upon another's life may amount to mere wagering contract. 69 C. 511; 70 C. 647. Speculative stock transactions, where there is an option to demand delivery. 77 C. 508; Id., 518; 84 C. 694. Cited. 125 C. 120. See note to section 52-554. Gambling on credit is the vice at which this statute and Sec. 52-554 are particularly directed. 189 C. 591. Parties' contract is not unenforceable under section because it would be contrary to the statutory scheme as a whole to conclude that agreement to share the spoils of legal wagering is illegal and unenforceable. 293 C. 17.

      Section is not applicable to written agreement where parties agreed to share equally in any winnings they received from various forms of legalized gambling. 105 CA 663; judgment affirmed on alternate grounds, see 293 C. 17.

      Where plaintiff sued to recover indebtedness from defendants, which claim arose from winnings from a bet made in violation of Sec. 53-298, held the court will not aid party to an illegal contract in enforcing his claim and, since all the parties were in pari delicto, judgment should be rendered for the defendants. 26 CS 238. Cited. 33 CS 170. Cited. 35 CS 522.

      Cited. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 682.


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      Sec. 52-554. Recovery of money lost in gaming. Any person who, by playing at any game, or betting on the sides or hands of such as play at any game, excluding any game permitted under chapter 226 or any activity not prohibited under the provisions of sections 53-278a to 53-278g, inclusive, loses the sum or value of one dollar in the whole and pays or delivers the same or any part thereof, may, within three months next following, recover from the winner the money or the value of the goods so lost and paid or delivered, with costs of suit in a civil action, without setting forth the special matter in his complaint. If the defendant refuses to testify, if called upon in such action, relative to the discovery of the property so won, he shall be defaulted; but no evidence so given by him shall be offered against him in any criminal prosecution.

      (1949 Rev., S. 6786; P.A. 81-16, S. 1, 2.)

      History: P.A. 81-16 specifically excluded games permitted under chapter 226 or any activity not prohibited under Secs. 53-278a to 53-278g, inclusive.

      Money wagered is recoverable from stakeholder. 15 C. 31; 40 C. 336. Under former statute a negotiable check given by the stakeholder to the winner for the amount wagered was void even in the hands of a bona fide holder. 36 C. 463. Legislation re gaming reviewed. 70 C. 490. This statute embraces all events mentioned in section 52-553; allows recovery of money lost and paid in bet on a horse race. 100 C. 545. Not necessary to state details of bets in complaint. 125 C. 116. No credit for bets won by defendant. Id., 121. Claim for share of fund increased by betting in Rhode Island, though valid there, contravenes our public policy and cannot be enforced in our courts. 134 C. 52. Gambling on credit is the vice at which this statute and Sec. 52-553 are particularly directed. 189 C. 591.

      Cited. 33 CS 170. Statute does not extend to legalized gambling authorized by Sec. 12-557 et seq. 37 CS 88.


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