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China says no casinos for resort island Hainan

Published on Mar 7, 2014 11:40 AM

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - China's balmy holiday island of Hainan, long touted as a place where the country could liberalise gambling, will not permit casinos, senior officials announced this week.

The decision may dampen investment appetite from scores of international and national developers betting on stellar profits in the southern province.

Mr Luo Baoming, Hainan's Communist Party chief, and Mr Wang Yong, the mayor of resort city Sanya, told a briefing at China's annual parliamentary meeting on Thursday that casinos will never be allowed to operate there.

"We cannot at all allow Hainan to operate casinos," Mr Luo said according to the official Xinhua news agency.

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