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Lienchiang magistrate calls for passage of gambling act

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Lienchiang County Magistrate Yang Sui-sheng (楊綏生) urged the Legislature to pass the Gaming Act (觀光賭場管理條例) as soon as possible in a public hearing, noting that the approval would not only bring job opportunities for Matsu but also benefit Taiwan's economy as a whole.

 According to Yang, the gaming project was actually initiated by the Lienchiang County Government to boost Matsu's economic activity. After the proposal, the citizens of Matsu passed a referendum in favor of legalizing gambling, though the Gaming Act is still tied up in the Legislative Yuan. Despite the risk of increased crime and gambling debt among the local population, Matsu residents voted in favor of legalized gambling to pave the way for greater economic prosperity and infrastructure development, said Yang.

 He said that in Matsu, there's an urgent need for infrastructure improvements, such as a modern airport and harbor, which is not feasible at the moment due to limited funding from the central government. However, circumstances would change once the Gaming Act is passed. “The IR (integrated resort) investment would bring a great deal of capital. For other underdeveloped areas around the world, IR is always considered an effective remedy. A casino located in the IR should take up no more than 5 percent of the area, according to local regulations,” Yang added.

He said that the new development program would bring job opportunities for Matsu residents and the revenue would also help alleviate Taiwan's financial deficit. “Give Matsu a chance. Give Taiwan a chance to reinvigorate the economy,” said Yang.

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