China has reopened betting on horse racing in the mainland after a 65-year ban, according to People’s Daily.
Betting will be allowed under a new type of lottery and proceeds will be distributed to the national treasury, charity organizations and the horse racing industry.
Peter Phillips, the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, has been hired as a global ambassador for the China Jockey Club, according to the Telegraph.
The club was established by several state-backed enterprises, People’s Daily reported in its overseas edition Thursday.
The first international race is expected to be held in July 2015 in Shanghai.
The revival of the horse racing industry will benefit a wide range of businesses such as harness manufacturing, feed production, training and equine healthcare services, Apple Daily reported, citing industry sources.
Horse racing was introduced in China by the British in 1850 but betting was banned in 1949 after the communist takeover, although horse races and equestrian events were allowed to continue.
However, in 1991, Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, began to allow betting in these events and the practice soon spread to Beijing, Hainan and Zhejiang, among other areas.
Until the formal announcement of the reopening of the industry, government policy on horse racing had been ambiguous, the report said.
A committee is looking into fully legalizing betting, the Telegraph said.
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