Hainan horse racing seen facing multiple challenges

The Chinese government’s April announcement that Hainan will “open up” as a economic hub and that horse racing, plus new forms of sports lotteries, could be part of the island’s future was met with equal parts optimism and caution from within the sport of kings itself. After all, horse racing already exists within mainland China, but much of it is disorganized and none of it features the financial lifeblood of the sport; legalized gambling. Only in China’s “special administrative regions” of Hong Kong and Macau is betting on horse racing legal. In Hong Kong horse racing is a massive money spinner, with HK$115.8 billion ($14.7 billion) in turnover generating massive revenue for the Hong Kong government and delivering billions of dollars back to the community in charity donations. In 2017 the HKJC paid HK$30.5 billion in tax, the most ever and up 16.9 percent on the previous year. Racing in mainland China was once...

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