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Mayor says no to Taipei casino proposal

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday told U.S.-Taiwan Business Council representatives that there is very little chance of developing a gambling center in the city.

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz visited Hau with council President Rupert J. Hammond-Chambers and HP's Vice President of Government Affairs for Asia Pacific and Japan Elizabeth Hernandez, as well as David Katz, Visa's head of Government Relations for North Asia Region.

Hammond-Chambers asked Hau if there is a possibility of allowing foreign investment to develop a casino industry in Taipei.

Singapore took a conservative approach when investing in its casino industry, Hammond-Chambers said, adding that it was a US$2 billion investment, and that the industry has attracted more investment and tourists to Singapore.

Hammond-Chambers said that as far as he is concerned, the industry has generated significant revenues for Singapore.

In response, Hau said “the chance (of casinos in Taipei) is very slim.”

He said that Taipei's population density is incredibly high, adding that even if the government can find a place for casino, “as far as I know, Taipei citizens don't want it.”

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