By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Gaming Attorney & Certified Anti-Money Laundering SpecialistFollow @cduhaime
Shanghai-based Fosun International Ltd. has announced plans to build a $1.6B resort in the city of Sanya on the Island of Hainan in China, in anticipation of an eventual liberalization of China's gambling laws which would permit land-based casino gambling in that city. The resort is a joint project with Kerzner International Holdings Limited.
In the past two years, several casino companies have announced plans to build in Sanya, including MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.
Casino gambling is illegal in China outside of the former Portuguese colony Macau. Earlier this year, China shut down a casino bar that had been operating in Hainan after a Reuters report drew attention to it. (Full Story).
While Chinese authorities have maintained an official ban on gambling in Sanya, tourists continue to flock to Hainan. Over 22 million overnight stays were registered in Hainan in the first eight months of the year, most by domestic travelers.
Fosun is headed by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang who started the company while studying philosophy at Fudan University.