olivier laude p h o t o
China's first horse racing track



Once a crime punishable by jail and even death, gambling is now making a comeback in China. Tianhe, China's first horse racing track is in Guangzhou. Built and operated by the local government, it attracts 30 to 40 thousand gamblers and curious onlookers twice a week. For three hours, players can bet their money on the horse of their choice. This form of government-sponsored betting is still extremely contentious, and similar efforts by other cities have been struck down by the central government in Beijing. Yet another example of the autonomy, and the economic and political clout the Guangzhou region has over the rest of China.

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