Matsu casino may be completed by '17: minister
By Linger Liu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A casino resort in Matsu may be completed by the end of 2017, said the minister of Transportation and Communications yesterday.
February 19, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), Minister of Transportation and Communications, said a draft proposal has been made. As of the end of last month, the Executive Yuan has been considering amendments to the Offshore Islands Development Act (離島建設條例), which affects the establishment of a casino resort in Matsu, the minister said.
The minister said casino-related regulation aims to establish clear administrative supervision from the local government, police, and the gaming bureau regarding gaming activities.
Yeh said if the amendments pass smoothly and construction goes without hindrance, the nation's first casino resort will be built in 2017.
According to the Offshore Islands Development Act, offshore islands can only establish a casino if it is part of an international resort.
Administrative Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications, Chen Chien-yu (陳建宇) said the current priority is to ensure all relevant amendments are soon finalized.
Chen said Taiwan does not have experience with establishing casinos, noting that the government will seek international investors to get involved with the project. He said currently several investment companies are showing interest in the project.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the casino is only one of several attractions within the planned resort. The ministry can only issue a casino license once the resort is complete. Chen also said the possibility of the project becoming a joint gambling operation between Taiwan and mainland China depends on the winning bidder.
In an attempt to prevent gambling addiction, the government will request a portion of the casino's profit — NT$1 from every NT$5,000 — go toward forming a foundation to prevent gambling addiction, officials said, adding that people with criminal records will be barred from becoming investors. The ministry plans to select qualified investors by the end of 2014. According to the ministry's current plans, the resort will take another three years to be built.