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Chinese sports officials want liberal gambling laws

6 March 2009

BEIJING, China -- As reported by Reuters: "Liberalising gambling laws could help China survive the global economic downturn, sports officials said at the annual meeting of China's parliament this week.

"Gambling was banned in mainland China after the Communist takeover in 1949, the exceptions being two state lotteries -- one of them run by the sports ministry to fund the building of facilities.

"It thrives, however, on the race courses of Hong Kong and in the casinos of Macau -- both special administrative regions -- while the frequent break up by police of underground syndicates indicates a flourishing illegal sector.

"'I suggest we deregulate the lottery,' Hebei delegate Yang Jingzhi told the Sports Circle at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"'Our present lottery games are monotonous. We should fully introduce the international practices, such as betting on horses, 'mark six' and various others.

"'...The sports industry in the short term can help maintain stable economic growth and employment,' deputy sports minister Wang Jun said.

"'The sports lottery can help create jobs. There are some 300,000 lottery ticket sellers in the country...'"

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