Taipei – The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) group whip Hsu Yao-chang said that putting up casinos in Matsu is a shortcut for its economic prosperity as it does not have many resources like other islands, e.g. Kinmen and Penghu. Hsu said that KMT would go ahead in favor of the bill for building casinos on outlying Matsu Island as it would prove a great boon for economic development. But the opponents said that KMT would only be held responsible for all the consequences in
terms of moral grounds. During the referendum a day earlier, the residents voted in favor of the casino that is a part of large administrative and legislative process. The Cabinet would discuss the issue on Monday wherein Ministry of Transportation & Communications and Ministry of Interior would participate. Approval for the bill is still to be obtained.
Ker Chien-ming, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party said that they have always opposed the casinos but the DPP will remain neutral in case the act goes for Legislature’s approval. He added that KMT would only be responsible for the results. Mao Chi-kuo, the Transport Minister stressed the need for the proposed requirements in the context of possible adverse effects of the proposed Casino on the living environment and public security of Matsu. He favored tight control .measures and a gambling control administration like Singapore.
Mixed reactions came from the tourism sector personnel. Kaohsiung Tourism Association head, Mai Yi-lung expressed that if a casino comes into existence in Matsu area, gambling vacation packages would become popular amongst gamblers and the travel sector would get a boost with more tourists coming in. But Lin Fu-nan, the prominent tourism-related businessman of Kaohsiung and Pingtung disagreed, saying that he didn’t expect Matsu to compete with Macau and Singapore casinos. He added that Matsu is not capable enough to face the competition without proper planning.
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