In the late 19th and early 20th century billiards attracted the attention of temperance reformers who were concerned at the game's association with gambling and alcohol. As both local and national governments moved for stricter regulations, the owners of licensed billiard saloons tried to head them off by pledging to control gambling.
In this 1907 cartoon the billiard saloon proprietor is shown kicking over a jar of coins, labelled 'pool', referring to the pool of money put up as gambling stakes. The reference to 'spot barred' is a pun on a particular form of billiards, devised to make the game more competitive and interesting when played by professionals. In a spot-barred game the red was not replaced on the billiard spot after potting, but instead was placed in a position from which it was more difficult to pot.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: New Zealand Free Lance, 6 April, 1907, p. 13
Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.