Skip to comments.China to Legalise Horse Racing and Betting
Posted on 01/13/2008 7:18:04 AM PST by JACKRUSSELL
The Chinese government is set to legalise horse racing, and even betting, as the ruling Communist Party loosens controls on practices it once banned as feudal, colonial and backward.
The sprawling industrial city of Wuhan in central China, once a European "concession" or colonial settlement, will be the first to open a race-track next year.
Gambling, apart from a state sports lottery, has been banned on the mainland since the Communist takeover in 1949.
The decision is a response to a market-driven explosion in traditional popular culture, at least where it does not touch on politics.
The Orient Lucky Horse Group, the company granted the first licence to run races, said the venture would start small, with jockey clubs around the country invited to put forward 250 horses to compete.
A spokesman said the State Sports General Administration had granted the licence from September - immediately after the Beijing Olympics - but that the first races would not be held until next year.
"The proposal for betting on horse racing is being reviewed and discussed," a spokesman for the China Sports Lottery Administration Centre said.
"Betting" might not take the form regularly associated with racing elsewhere. Punters may have to pay to compete in an "intelligence competition" in which those who correctly identify the best horse in advance will be rewarded with prizes.
Racing was stopped after the civil war partly because of its colonial reputation. It was introduced by the British who dominated the foreign "concessions" in China in the 19th and early 20th century. Racing lived on in Hong Kong, where it remains both the focus of society life and of the only permitted form of gambling in the territory.
The Jockey Club is to help Wuhan develop a code of rules.
The government's change of heart is most likely dictated by an acceptance of reality, with millions of mainland Chinese every year pouring into the other post-colonial enclave, Macau, where casinos are the main industry, and the realisation that it is better to find some way of profiting from the national love of gambling.
Those poor horses, I know how the chicoms treat animals...I live near Ocala FL (Horse capital of the World) and don’t like what they do here...
I guess you've never heard of Kentucky, and maybe Saratoga?
Yes, I have heard of those places and many people in Kentucky get their horses in Ocala.
One can’t come to Marion County without becoming aware immediately that this is the “Horse Capital of the World.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture in early 1999, put its seal of approval on promotions using that label. The USDA’s Census of Agriculture reported that Marion led all U.S. counties in total number of horses and ponies in residence in 1997, cut-off year for the five-year census. Furthermore, the county ranked third nationally (behind two counties in Kentucky) in total value of horses sold. Horses are big business in Marion County. Between 45 and 50 different breeds are represented in the area. Nearly 29,000 residents are employed in the county’s Thoroughbred industry alone.
Florida Thoroughbreds finish first in 20 percent of the foremost stakes races in the U.S. and are counted among Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup, Belmont Stakes, Preakness and Kentucky Derby winners. The Thoroughbred industry’s economic impact on the state is considered to be in excess of $1 billion dollars annually, and the exciting horse sales at the Ocala Breeder’s Sales Complex run into the millions.
Losers get eaten?
Good news. It is a step into the freedom in China.