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Could China’s Hainan Island be set to be the new Vegas?

Could China’s Hainan Island be set to be the new Vegas?

Could China’s Hainan Island be set to be the new Vegas?


There has been huge news coming from China this week which could affect the future of online gaming. The Chinese government has been drafting a new gambling proposal in an unprecedented move to legalise gambling on Hainan Island, the small and southernmost province of China. The move was a surprise due to the fact that China has extremely strict gambling laws, and is illegal everywhere except Macau and Hong Kong. Selling lottery tickets is even prohibited without government approval. The legalisation of gambling in Hainan could potentially rid the province of its huge debts and bring jobs and prosperity to the people there. Online gambling is also currently illegal in China, so there is now way of playing the best slots casino.


What are the proposals and how will they effect Chinas current gambling market?


The Chinese government is considering allowing Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government is considering allowing lottery and sport betting, as well as opening the province up to online gaming companies. The plans also include provisions for physical casinos to be built on the island in the hopes of creating a booming tourist industry. Hainan is known as China’s Hawaii due to its natural beauty and spectacular beaches so with the introduction of casinos, it may well become the holiday of choice for punters worldwide.


Macau is currently a mecca of glitz and glamour for gambling in China but is its reference as the ‘Vegas of China’ about to come under threat? The $33 billion casino industry in Macau makes it the world’s largest gaming hub with revenues five times larger than Las Vegas. However, Bloomberg has reported that upon receipt of the news Macau casino stocks tumbled on the news. Wynn Macau Ltd. slid 6.7 percent before closing 0.2 percent lower. MGM China Holdings Ltd. declined 1.5 percent while Sands China Ltd. fell 1.4 percent.


How likely are the plans to go ahead?


The Chinese government has already been pushing tourism towards Hainan and it seems officials have coordinated their efforts in doing so.  There have already been new infrastructure projects launched with a new international airport already planned for the city of Dongfang. There has also been extensive work on new highways and high-speed railways which suggest the government has been planning for some time now, for an influx of new tourists. There have also been plans in place to relax visa laws to encourage more people to flock to the area. Despite China being the world’s biggest tourism spender, it has found it challenging to attract foreign tourists.


While the Chinese government has not released any set plans or a timescale for the decision, it does seem that everything is very much moving forward with officials preparing for a possible visit from President Xi in the next few months with the outlook of promoting development on the island. All eyes will be on Hainan for the next few months as we wait to see what the future holds for the province and gambling in China.