Mongolian Government Considers Legalisation of Horse Racing and Gambling
The Mongolian government is to propose laws which would allow the creation of a professional horse-racing league and legalize betting. The aim is to try and compete for a share of the lucrative Chinese gambling market.Culture Minister Oyungerel Tsedevdamba said, “Our priority is to make the legal environment for a Jockey Club operation so that we can have a market share”.
Tsedevdamba said that she is hoping to submit a draft set of laws in parliament within three months.
The minister hopes that legalizing gambling would diversify the country’s resource-reliant economy which has been suffering in recent years.
Economic growth fell for the second consecutive year in 2013 to 11.7%.
The Chinese gambling market has made Macau the world’s biggest gambling hub and Mongolia is hoping to tap into this. The move would also fit with the country’s respect for horses which are central to its national identity. The country also has an old tradition of horse racing on the open plains.
If the law is passed it would be the first time that Mongolia allowed gambling since a Macau-operated casino closed in 1999. The government is hoping to build a horse-racing track near the country’s new airport project, 54km south of the capital Ulaanbaatar.