The size of the bets varies, depending on where they are made. "You would not try to bet a half crown in the Silver Ring at Ascot," the official explains.
But this has not proved to be all a gambol for the tax men. The Crown's punters are complaining that they are not paid enough and are demanding their carfare home from the betting shops and racecourses. The government is reluctant to pay off. Maybe it thinks its horseplayers will work harder on their form charts if faced with the possibility of being stranded shillingless at a distant racecourse.
The California Senate passed a resolution last week in favor of Charles O. Finley moving his A's to Oakland. Twenty-three senators voted for the measure, but one popped up to object, San Francisco's George Moscone.
"I looked at it this way," said Moscone. "We already have the Dodgers in Los Angeles. They're eighth. Then we have the Anaheim Angels, who have the impudence to usurp the state by calling themselves the California Angels. Don't we have enough bush-league teams out here without bringing in one that wears white shoes and green-and-yellow uniforms?
"The point is, we have the finest food in the San Francisco Bay area. We have the finest culture and the biggest bridges. Must we dilute all this with a team that travels with a mule?
"Besides," Moscone said, "I'm a Giant fan."