More delays have beset the building of a new casino in Taiwan, as on Thursday, the government’s casino debate was postponed again, meaning that the draft bill allowing the construction of casinos in the county’s remote islands could not be reviewed. The draft bill provided the option of conducting public referendums among the residents of the discussed regions, and such was carried out in Matsu islands in July 2012.
Another amendment to the proposed Taiwanese gambling law changes was to allow for casinos to be built in special economic zones such as the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project at the Taoyuan International Airport. The proposal – close to the capital Taipei – would require visitors to show their foreign passport before entry.
This amendment was challenged this Thursday by some legislators from the Transportation, Economic and Judiciary committees, who expressed their concern that it would allow other designated free-trade zones to build their own casinos. In addition, there were concerns that there was no specific government agency to supervise the casino business. Therefore, the debate was postponed until the legislators could address all the issues. Perhaps, in the future the debate may cover another amendment allowing online casinos in Taiwan.
It is worth noting that while the casino discussion was taking place indoors, around 400 people from the distant islands organized a rally outside the building, trying to convince the legislators to proceed with a decision. The protest was supported by Chang Long-guang, an award-winning screenwriter from Matsu.
While mobile casinos have sprouted up throughout Europe, Asia has seen a big increase in the building of casino resorts, and Matsu was all set to be the next one, before the delays. Strangely enough – especially if you’re coming from an American perspective – local residents are completely in favor of the plans, with the Weidner Resorts plans including many infrastructure developments seen as essential for the island.