China considering gambling on Hainan Island
China is considering a proposal to allow gambling on Hainan Island, which would allow the country to move farther into the Asian market share.
While this sounds like exciting news for China, there is cause for concern in the area around Macau.
This would be the first area that is not a Chinese territory to be granted a license for gambling. Hainan is an island province that sits at the southern end of China. If the island gets a license, it may take away from the gambling businesses in Macau.
President Xi Jinping is considering adding several different types of betting to the island, which might include online gaming, a provincial lottery or different types of sports betting. While casinos are not being considered at this time, the fact that the Chinese government is even considering allowing gambling in Hainan means there may be physical casinos on the island in the near future, as well as online gaming. At this time, China does not allow gambling or casinos on the mainland at all. Both Hong Kong and Macau, which are autonomous territories, allow gaming. Any revenue gathered through gambling on Hainan would be added to the general coffers of the budgets for the province and the nation.
Once one of the most profitable of the Chinese provinces, Hainan has had difficulty attracting foreign tourists. This has become all the more important with the recent decline of Hainan’s industries because of deficits in its fiscal budget and the inability of the island’s largest employer to satisfy its creditors that it will not go under even though the business is currently cash poor. The government has been looking for other businesses to aid in the further development of the island.
Hainan is about the size of Switzerland and is known for warm waters and beautiful beaches. The majority of the tourists who visit Hainan’s beaches come from other areas in Asia. Nearly 55 million tourists visited the island in 2017, which made the island a prime tourist destination. That also makes it a good location for the Chinese government to invest in gambling The addition of gambling would attract even more tourists to the island. And, while it is regarded as a large tourist destination, they mainly stay around the southern part of the island.
Hainan and Macau
Hainan Island is about 300 miles from Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world. The casino industry is a $33 billion business in Macau, and that means Macau is five times the gambling market that Las Vegas is. Because of Macau’s location, it attracts the largest share of its gambling tourists from mainland China. However, because of its location, Hainan would not only attract tourists from mainland China but also from other nearby areas in Asia, such as Vietnam. The island is already preparing for an influx of tourists. Two international airports have already been built on the island and a third is currently under construction. While there are other gaming destinations in Asia, none are as large as the casinos operating on Macau, or that may potentially operate on Hainan. If Hainan receives the same or close to the same outside investment that Macau receives, the money-making potential of Hainan could exceed $50 billion yearly.
The question remains how Hainan’s potential gaming industry will affect other gambling business in the area. However, China is apparently ready to bet that it will see Hainan Island as a source of increased revenue for a state that has been enduring an economic shortfall.
Grayson met Thomas Winston at university and has stayed in touch ever since. Now living and working in America as a logistics specialist, Grayson has long shared Thomas’ love of real money online casino games but prefers roulette and craps to blackjack. She signed on readily as a contributor when Thomas told her he was planning to launch the Top Casino Picks site to share her experience, tips and tricks, when it comes to real money online casinos.
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