More Hong Kong cricket-fighting!

You can arrest participants and bust trainers, but apparently you can’t stop Hong Kong cricket-fighting, or betting on it. For the second time, police in Hong Kong have smashed a bug-fighting ring. From

Hong Kong police smashed the second illegal insect-fighting gambling ring in a month when they arrested 43 people for betting on battles between pet crickets, officers said on Tuesday.

The men, aged between 48 and 73, were arrested in a swoop on the same Kowloon district building where 115 people were arrested in mid-August for gambling on cricket fights.

In the latest raid, police seized 167 crickets stored in small bamboo cages. Some HK$2,260 (US$290) in cash was also confiscated.

Cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese pastime that dates back to the Tang dynasty of 618-907 and had long been mainly practiced by aristocrats, senior officials and wealthy merchants.

In recent years, as Hong Kong’s obsession with gambling has surged, punters have turned to betting on animal fights, including insects, dogs and chickens.

Traders of battling insects spend hours training them to fight.

A champion cricket can cost up to US$20,000 even though prize money rarely exceeds a couple of thousand dollars.

There will definitely be information about cricket-fighting in ROLL THE BONES. I spoke to a group from Macau this morning, and they seemed to think that this kind of betting was widespread in Hong Kong.

I think there are a few definite movie ideas here:
ACTION: Someone kidnaps a $20,000 champion cricket, and a gun-toting former special ops guy must bring it back, or the criminal underworld will kill his family
HUMAN INTEREST: Seabiscuit, but with crickets instead of horses, set in HK instead of Depression-era America.
CHICK FLICK: She’s the owner of a pet shop. He’s a ruthless cricket trainer who pushes his insects to the brink, until she gets him totally whipped.
MYSTERY: On the eve of the cricket championships, the star trainer is found murdered. Was it the cricket owner, a challenger, or someone from his past?

Seriously, if anyone knows anyone at Law and Order, please email this post to them. I could easily see this somehow spun into an episode.

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