In most of the United States there are doubtless statutes making wagers illegal, but irrespective of such statutes such agreements are generally held opposed to public policy.34 In with concern and almost with shame, on the subterfuges and contrivances and evasions to which Judges in England long resorted, in struggling against this rule, and I rejoice that it is at last constitutionally abrogated by the legislature, an event which probably would have happened much sooner without the abortive attempts to accomplish the object by judicial decision."
20 8 and 9 Vict., c. 109, Sec.18.
21 Fitch v. Jones, 5 E. & B. 238. There the burden was held to be on the defendant to prove that an indorsee (the plaintiff) was not a purchaser for value, though had fraud or illegality instead of lack of consideration been shown, the burden would have shifted to the defendant to prove that he was a purchaser for value.
22 Rosewarne v. Billing, 15 C. B. (N. S.) 316.
23 55 Vict., c. 9; Tatam v. Reeve,  1 Q. B. 44.
24 In Irwin v. Williar, 110 U. S. 499, 510, 28 L. Ed. 225, 4 S. Ct. 160, Matthews, J., for the court, said: "Generally, in this country, ail wagering contracts are held to be illegal and void as against public policy," citing: Melchert v. American Union Telegraph Co., 3 McCrary, 521, s. c. 11 Fed. 193, and note; Lyon v. Culbert-son, 83 11I. 33, 25 Am. Rep. 349; Love v. Harvey, 114 Mass. 80; Gregory v. Wendell, 40 Mich. 432; Kingsbury v. Kirwan, 77 N. Y. 612; Story v. Salomon, 71 N. Y. 420; Dickson's Executor v. Thomas, 97 Pa. 278; Barnard v. Backhaus, 52 Wis. 593, 6 N. W. 252." In Love v, Harvey, 114 Mass. 80, 82, Gray, G. J., for the court said: "In Massachusetts, the English law on this subject has never been adopted, used, or approved, and, although the question has not been directly adjudged, it has long been understood that all wagers are unlawful. Const. Mass., c. 6, art. 6; Amory v. Gilman, 2 Mass. 1, 6; Ball v. Gilbert, 12 Met. 397, 399; Sampson v. Shaw, 101 Mass. 145, 150, 3 Am. Rep. 327, Metcalf, Contracts, 239. There are decisions or opinions to the same effect in each of the New England States," citing from New England: Wheeler v. Spencer, 15 Conn. 28, 30; Lewis v. little-field, 15 Me. 233; Perkins v. Eaton, 3 N. H. 152; Hoit v. Hodge, 6 N. H. 104, a few States, however, the English common law has been followed so far as statutes permitted.25