This Saturday, the first horse racing match (the first legal one anyways) was hosted in Wuhan as a test for the revival of horse gambling in China since 1949. Growing up in Hong Kong, horse gambling has always been a large part of life – we had 2 and sometimes 3 matches per week. The matches and pre-match warm-ups are show live on TV; even though I don’t gamble (well, too young to do so anyways), I became familiar with the names of the best horses.
I see pros and cons for horse gamblings. It is a form of entertainment if played moderately – it’s very social and brings people together. It focuses the society on money; the objective for playing, obviously is to win money. It is a bit like drugs – certainly addictive, and somewhat therapetic. It gives hope and (presumably) equal chances to everyone. It is often also used as an escape for the difficulty of “life”.
Gambling in any form has destroyed families and lives. China needs to proceed with caution.