1949: G.P.O. GETS £3,000,000 FROM POOLS Football pools account for a turnover of £600,000,000 a year, giving the G.P.O. one-tenth of its business and a profit of about £3,000,000 a year. Sir Raymond Birchall, Director General of the G.P.0., giving the figures to the Royal Commission on Betting in London yesterday, said: "We like this traffic very much. We charge the full amount and it is easy to handle." If the pools were stopped 400 people employed by the Post Office on this work would be redundant, and in the long run some 1,000 people out of 100,000 employed on general postal work would be affected; 60 per cent of the total postal orders sold are concerned with betting. Sir Raymond added that the work provided by the pools filled up idle time and without it staff duties would be worse.
Sir William Croft, chairman of the Board of Customs and Excise, said his department did not accept the suggestion that dog racing had been seriously injured by taxation. The fact that there is not much money to spend nowadays was a more potent factor in reducing attendances. The number of bookmakers operating greyhound tracks was now 2,300 compared with 3,500 two years ago, he added. The Commission was told that since the 1947 Derby the G.P.O. have seized 394,835 Irish Hospital Sweepstake letters to Britain. The number of people employed on betting and insured under the National Insurance Scheme at July last year, including bookmakers, totalisators, football and racing pools, was given as 40,310 of which 28,880 were women including 5,810 girls under 18.
Source : Aberdeen Press & Journal Friday 22nd July, 1949