Last week, casino industry experts refuted rumors that the island of Hainan, also known as “China’s Hawaii”, is set to become the next casino hub in the country. Still, they confirmed that the island could open doors for several kinds of sports lotteries.
In February 2018 it became clear that the Chinese Government has been mulling the legalization of some gaming options on Hainan Island – a step that could end the gambling monopoly of Macau. Then, in April, the Government revealed that it would officially legalize horse racing and some new types of sports lotteries on the Island as part of its effort to turn Hainan into the largest pilot free-trade port.
However, the South China Morning Post revealed that Su Guojing, the founder of the China Lottery Industry Salon and a gambling sector expert, explained in an interview at the Macau-based Global Gaming Expo Asia 2018 that casino gambling contradicted to the overall ideology and legislation of China. According to Mr. Su, for the time being, it was almost impossible for the Government to permit land-based casinos to be established outside the gambling hub of Macau.
According to Mr. Su, the legalization of horse racing in Hainan could take a very long time to develop. He further explained that the country’s Government should pay much more attention to Sanya and its development to a global home port for cruises.
China to Keep Its Gambling Ban Almost Intact
For the time being, all forms of gambling, except for two types of lotteries, are officially suspended under a gambling ban imposed by the Chinese Government. As mentioned above, horse racing operations are permitted to a limited extent. However, sports betting services are fully banned in the country. Other forms of gambling are currently permitted only in the autonomous region of Macau, which is currently the only place in China where gambling in casinos is allowed.
Recently, rumor has it that the country’s authorities have been considering whether to lift some of the restrictions imposed on gaming operations on land and allow them on boats.
Sanya currently attracts the largest number of tourists in the province of Hainan as a whole. According to a report issued by the online travel booking agency Ctrip, a total of 18 million visitor arrivals were registered in Sanya last year. Up to date, the city offers about 14 cruise routes traveling to various countries and is also a stopping point for some of the largest cruise operators which could help it become a global cruise destination.
As far as opening Hainan to gambling operations is concerned, the Chinese Government has been considering such a step as part of its efforts to help the economy of the ailing southernmost province. For many years, the administrative region of Macau has kept a monopoly on casino gambling operations, with the region having attracted some of the largest casino operators on a global scale.
Susan Sutton is a writer and an author at CasinoNewsDaily. Her journalism career started back in high school as a writer for the school’s newspaper.