‘One country, two systems’ is the official mantra that underscores the stark contrasts between mainland China and the ‘special administrative region’ (SAR) of Hong Kong. For example, in the past 12 months, Hong Kong’s seven million residents spent over $15 billion US on gambling (a 7% increase over the previous 12 months). Keep in mind that this region (unlike that other SAR, Macau) has no casinos. So that $15B was entirely spent on horse races, football matches and lottery tickets.
Meanwhile, back on the mainland, that ‘public security’ campaign launched at the beginning of the year has so far netted some 278,000 ‘criminal cases’, including a substantial number of gambling-related charges centered around World Cup bettors. Any chance that the people in Hong Kong refer to the mainland as a ‘special punitive region?’ Read more.