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Watts v. Malatesta

Court of Appeals of New York
186 N.E. 210 (N.Y. 1933)


Watts (plaintiff), a casual gambler, placed a number of bets on horseracing with Malatesta (defendant), a professional bookmaker. Watts won approximately $250,000 and lost approximately $150,000 on these bets. However, a New York statute had banned organized betting and gambling. Watts brought suit against Malatesta to recover his losses. Malatesta counterclaimed to recover the difference between the winnings that he had paid Watts and the amount that Watts had lost. The trial court found in favor of Malatesta. The appellate court reversed, awarding Watts the amount he lost and paid to Malatesta. Malatesta appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Crouch, J.)

Dissent (Crane, J.)

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