Confusion over gambling on horse racing in Hainan Island

There’s been a lot of confusion around recent announcements in the media regarding the future development of the sports industry here.

A recent publication by China Daily states “China will encourage new tourism-related activities in Hainan province, such as horse racing, sports betting and an instant lottery, to help build the province into a leading global tourism destination,” and “Hainan will further explore the development of sports betting on large international competitions and an instant lottery.”

So it’s easy to understand the confusion, will there be gambling on horse racing in Hainan Island or not?

According to comments made by Liu Cigui, Party chief of the province to globaltimes.cn the answer is a resounding NO! There will be no betting or gambling on horse racing.

“Some online discussions suggested opening up casinos, setting up gambling, and easing restrictions on horse racing… all such talk deviates from the national conditions and reality, and should be resolutely not allowed,” Liu was quoted as saying in a report by the local newspaper Hainan Daily.

According to the Times, the island will not allow any form of gambling or any policy loopholes in this sector, which is not in line with the central government’s free-trade zone plan.

There will be no grey area for undertaking sports lottery projects in Hainan, and local authorities will consider more competitive sports that will attract public attention rather than sports that gain profits. 

So … looks like all bets are off.