The road from law to action can be quite long, as the example of Taiwan demonstrates.
Although a backdoor solution was found back in 2009 to amend Taiwanese gambling laws by passing the Offshore Islands Development Act, which allowed casinos on the outlying islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, no construction has started yet.
The obstacles are mainly legal, though politicking does play a part. Several details are to be ironed out, including the precise tax scheme, before licensing of Taiwanese casinos may start.
While progress has been apparent and final measures were expected to be voted on before summer, it now appears that legislators may decide on the proposed alterations only in August.
Weidner Resorts, the group that received the green light in a local referendum to build a casino on Matsu is ready to wait until August as well. The group had earlier made gambling news headlines by threatening to withdraw from the project unless the government makes real progress in the matter.
Besides the work needed to finalize the details of the casino bill currently in the works, a delay may also be caused by an alternative proposal, submitted by three lawmakers.
The bill would follow an established Asian model (such as the one operating in the Philippines) of creating foreigner-only casinos in designated ‘special economic zones’. The advantage of this plan is that it would allow casinos to be built in central Taiwan instead of the smaller islands.