Hainan govt suspends registration of online gambling companies

The Hainan government has put a temporary block on private investors registering companies in the online gambling business, local media reports.

It is understood that private investors have increasingly interested in registering companies related to lotteries and other forms of gambling in the province after rumors emerged that the government is looking to soon legalize betting on horse racing.

Rumors that gambling on horse racing could be legalized in Hainan have been circulating since 2009, but picked up momentum in recent months.

According to a report from Caixin Global, more than 70 companies over the past year have registered in Hainan as internet gambling companies.

An official with the Administration for Industry & Commerce in the Baoting Li and Miao autonomous county in Hainan said that the suspension was temporary while they awaited further instruction on whether the registration ban should become permanent.

Authorities have also clawed back approvals for sports gambling from companies that had previously registered as gambling businesses.

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