Taiwan sets aside land for casinos

Plans to introduce resort casinos in Penghu remain unchanged

Local government officials in the Penghu County of Taiwan have set aside plots of public land in anticipation of investment from foreign firms once laws governing the establishment and operation of casinos are enacted, which could happen as soon as this week.

Penghu is an archipelago of 90 small islands 50 kilometres off of the west coast of Taiwan with local Magistrate Chien-Fa Wang stating that the local government’s plans to introduce resort-style casinos and develop a tourism industry had remain unchanged. “Two to three big plots of land will be ready in anticipation of an influx of investment by international conglomerates for the development of casinos and the related tourism industry,” said Wang.

Wang stated that he had met with President-elect Ying-Jeou Ma several times and exchanged views on the area’s plans for developing tourism. He also promised publicly during a “thank you” tour to the islands last month that the central Government, which is to be inaugurated today, would spare no effort in helping to facilitate development once Penghu residents reached a consensus on the casino issue.

Wang stressed that any development would be an integrated large-scale project to upgrade the island chain into a tourism retreat where holidaymakers could relax in serenity rather than just simply legalizing small casinos. He stated that up to three million tourists a year could visit Penghu if the three planned casino resorts become operational, a sizeable increase on the 500,000 tourists the archipelago currently attracts annually.