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Opinion ... ...
    Gambling bill unjustifiable

2005-02-17 07:07

Hainan has no reason to run gambling businesses, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. An excerpt follows:

A vigorous anti-gambling campaign is currently under way throughout China. Yet ironically, four members of the Hainan Political Consultative Conference have filed a bill in which they asked for national sanction of running gambling business moderately in Hainan Province, an island to the south of the country's mainland.

The four members pledged that this bill is based on sound reasons: the tax revenue from gambling business could increase Hainan's financial income and thereby soothe the low-income woes of the locals; some social malaises, such as a high unemployment rate, will be relieved as the sectors of tourism, real estate, catering and recreational activities will gain juicy profits along with gambling.

The proposal raised runs counter to the present trend, and the reasoning does not survive rebuke.

What are the grounds for Hainan to run gambling businesses? Simply because of its laggard industry and agriculture, or its meagre financial revenue? Hainan is not among the poorest provinces in China. What if other poorer provinces follow Hainan's example and engage themselves in gambling businesses? Will the central government grant them all sanction? To maintain fairness in government administration, Hainan should not get the sanction it expects.

In fact many provinces in western China are battling against sluggish economies and high unemployment. It is still not right to permit running gambling businesses, even moderately, or even if it is an instant cure for slack economy. In any sense, economic profit should not impair healthy social morals.

To make their proposed gambling businesses more law abiding, the four members argue that the casinos in Hainan will be accessible only to a certain group of people and will be regulated by strict rules.

People with a little sense will sneer at this argument, as it is impossible to persuade a gambling addict to gamble sensibly.

Doubtlessly, gambling businesses could not be run moderately, so Hainan's proposal should be turned down.

(China Daily 02/17/2005 page4)


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