Residents of Taiwan’s outlying Penghu archipelago have voted overwhelmingly against legislation that would have paved the way for a new wave of casino resorts near China’s south-eastern seaboard.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Penghu government said in October that voters had rejected the idea of authorising casinos as a means of driving tourism to the island chain. The referendum results showed 26,598 votes against the casino plan and just 6,210 votes in favour.
Earlier this year, Bill Bryson, senior associate at the casino gaming and hospitality consultancy firm, Global Market Advisors, said the passage of a referendum in Penghu would likely have forced the legislature to pass the draft act.
“Taiwan has long been a venue of interest among foreign casino investors, originally because of the importance of Taiwan as a source of customers, and more recently because of the potential to reach Chinese customers through the ever-increasing transportation and tourism links between Taiwan and China,” he said.
Turnout for this year’s referendum was smaller than the last vote, which was held in 2009. And after the votes were counted, the head of Penghu’s pro-casino lobbying group said he doubted his group would mount a similar effort in 2019 – the earliest possible date for another referendum.