Pulling Up Lame

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has been separating gambling-crazy locals from their cash for 118 years. Yet most Special Administrative Region residents speak of the horse-racing monopoly not with resentment but with a hint of veneration. When toting up personal possessions signifying ascendance in Hong Kong society, along with the Mercedes-Benz and the house on the Peak goes a Jockey Club membership card. Access to the club's posh dining rooms and exclusive turfside suites is an honor generally reserved for the Úlite, the wealthy and the connected.

When big money intersects with horse racing, however, even the most...

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