Gambling in Hainan not zero-sum game
IN A DOCUMENT on expanding Hainan’s opening-up issued by the central authorities on Saturday, the largest special economic zone and the to-be largest pilot free trade zone is encouraged to develop horse racing and lottery industries, particularly the in-play competitive sports lotteries. Beijing News comments:
The lottery business is by no means, as some people say, a zero-sum game posing threats to family and social stability. Rather, it should be viewed as a kind of entertainment, particularly to the risk takers, not a bottomless pit entrapping people to lose all their money.
For a long time the industry has been demonized, but it is time people updated their views on it, as it has prospered within legal frameworks in many places around the world without becoming a hotbed of social problems and troublemaking.
Hopefully, Hainan province will make good use of its exclusive right on the Chinese mainland to develop the lottery industry well, which will help boost its economic growth and attract more tourists to the island.
Hainan can draw lessons from the lottery industry’s development and administration in the Macao Special Administrative Region and open the market to capable enterprises to boost competition, letting the market play a decisive role in allocating resources.
The government should ease its control on the lottery business so as not to hinder its growth, while strengthening its supervision to ensure the healthy and orderly development of the industry.
The lottery management experiences of Hainan will provide a reference for other places in China, as it is believed the lottery industry will receive more green lights if the experiment in Hainan proves a success.