There has aleady been a stated intent to make Hainan, effectively China’s only tropical island, into a major resort. Now the State Council, China’s Cabinet, has given permission to Hainan "explore and develop" pari-mutuel sports lotteries and instant sports lotteries on large international events.
This led to media speculation that horseracing could be introduced to the island, or that Hainan would even become China’s answer to Las Vegas.
Hainan Governor Luo Baoming told a press conference, "Hainan has been given more space than other parts of China to explore the lottery market, but it does not mean Hainan will break China’s laws."
China View reports Hainan received some 750,000 overseas tourists in 2007, mostly from Russia and South Korea. In total, it received 18.4 million tourists from home and abroad in 2007.