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Bookmaker's bag belonging to Jim McMahon

2004.0022.0007

Bookmaker's bag belonging to Jim McMahon

Object information

Physical description

Bookmaker's white leather bag with metal clips and a small handle attached. Painted in black and grey on the front is the inscription "JIM / McMAHON / Canberra." On the inside of the bag is the handwritten inscription "J McMAHON / 13 BRENNAN ST / PH 62498537." The bag contains one white leather strap, two bundles of tickets, one red pencil case containing two green clutch pencils with black wax crayons, and two cases of red and black wax crayon refills.

Statement of significance

The Jim McMahon Collection consists of a horseracing bookmaker's betting board, a greyhound racing bookmaker's betting board, bookmaker's betting tickets, ticket holders, personalised bookmaker's bag marked 'Jim McMahon Canberra', betting board stands and four carrying cases. These items were used by Jim McMahon in Canberra and the Southern Districts region from 1983 until 1994.

Horseracing has played an integral role in Australian sporting, social and economic history. Bookmakers were once a vital and colourful presence on the racetrack and betting on the horses, through a bookie, was the first legal form of gambling in Australia. Developments in computerised betting technology and an increase in the available choices of other gambling attractions has seen the number of bookmakers steadily decline. The bookmaker's profession is fast becoming redundant and their equipment obsolete.

Object information

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