Did Hainan Really Lift Bans on Prostitution and Gambling?

By Ryan Gandolfo, June 5, 2019

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China’s island province of Hainan has been the talk of the cloud in recent days after the province scrapped 14 local regulations that canceled previous bans on gambling and prostitution. 

After the news of the abolished regulations on June 1, speculation immediately grew online as to what exactly the law changes mean for the province. “Hainan’s strategic position is very clear, they want to destroy Las Vegas,” posted one Weibo user along with a highlighted section of the legal document that showed the cancelation of laws on gambling and prostitution, which were passed in 1988 when Hainan was established as a province. 

READ MORE: Hainan Island Becomes a Province

Another netizen was quick to share their excitement for the law changes, posting “How awesome! China’s future is in Hainan, genuine globalized service…” 

However, the Hainan government was quick to clear up any misunderstanding about the local regulation changes in an interview with Hainan Daily. Local officials explained that the reason those laws were abolished was because they were outdated and the newer and nationwide Public Security Administration Punishment Law already includes penalties for those types of illegal activities. The move was to ensure that local laws and regulations stay consistent with current national legislation.

Hong Daode, an expert on criminal lawsuits at the China University of Political Science and Law told Global Times that the news received so much attention because of Hainan’s reputation as a tourist destination and a pilot free trade zone.

Following the clarification, a new Weibo hashtag translated to ‘Hainan no longer prohibits porn and gambling activities misunderstanding,’ was trending online. One user, who appeared to have taken a fancy to now debunked claims, wrote “Yesterday I bought a plane ticket for Hainan, looks like I’ll have to cancel it.” 

So, there you have it, folks: don’t expect to gamble away your life savings alongside mysterious women in Hainan anytime soon. 

READ MORE: China Supports Horse Racing in Hainan, Legalized Gambling Could be Next

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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