The upcoming presidential contest between current Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou and opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen may not be as crucial to gaming in the country after all. Tsai and her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, opposed gaming in Taiwan and actively fought against casinos on Penghu, an outlying island thought to be the home of the country’s first gaming hall.
But when a local referendum scheduled to affirm casino development failed in September 2009, it was fueled by the DPP. At the time, Tsai castigated gaming, saying that casino operators would “manipulate everything” and lead to drug addiction, crime and money laundering.
Now, it appears Tsai was only worried about Penghu.
“The population there is a bit different because the majority are people in the civil service,” she told Gambling-Compliance. “They tend to be more conservative, in particular the education sector.”
Tsai said she is more favorable to casinos on other islands.
“Kinmen and Matsu we can take into consideration,” she said, “but we need to look at the specifics to make a determination first. At this moment, we still have some reservations about that unless the government can come up with a comprehensive plan. We are firm but we would come back and review the policy from time to time.”
Tsai’s comments came after recent comments by the deputy minister of Taiwan’s Council for Economic Planning and Development, San Gee, who expressed doubts about the current plan to situate casinos on offshore islands. San believes that the infrastructure can’t support billion-dollar casino resorts on any of the nation’s outlying islands.