According to the Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government will support the opening of a racecourse and the expansion of betting sports on Hainan Island.

According to sources familiar with the matter, this is a move that will help push China to open the same subjects in mainland China for the first time. At present, China bans all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Gambling-blooded Chinese often address the needs of the Macau Special Administrative Region, the world’s largest gambling center and also the casino of Asia. Macau is also the only place where public gambling is accepted. Most of Macau’s casino revenue comes from foreign companies operating here, including Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The opening of a betting racetrack and the expansion of betting sports on Hainan Island will threaten Macau’s $ 33 billion industry, as mainland companies hope to enter the market. This is a change in line with the development view of President Xi Jinping, who emphasizes China’s rise in the international arena in all aspects – according to Bloomberg.

In February, the news agency also reported that Chinese government agencies in charge of reform considered a number of proposals in favor of virtual gambling and casino development plans. Those are signals that will lead to the opening of real casinos.

Su Guojing, president of China Lottery Industry Salon, said: “Horse racing has grown rapidly in China in recent years, but this is the first time the government is promoting the game to a city and encouraging the development of sports betting. Although it takes more time to develop, Hainan can be a venue for more sporting events, including horse racing and boating, which can boost tourism”.

These steps were part of a reform package that President Xi announced when he visited Hainan. Accordingly, the island district wants to develop into a “Hawaii of China”, and may open more duty-free shops, facilitate international flights and prioritize tourism.