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Taiwan Casino Plan Proposed

4 June 2004

TAIWAN – As reported by the eTaiwan News: "A proposal by Vice President Annette Lu to develop the offshore county of Penghu into a gambling center has sent ripples among the people living there, who have long been keen on seeking ways to improve their livelihoods.

"Penghu County Magistrate Lai Feng-wei contended yesterday that the proposal needs to be further studied and elaborated upon. Lai expressed his hope that more tourist facilities and a special duty free zone can be established in the island county to attract a larger number of Taiwan and foreign tourists, including those from China.

"…Lai called for a partial opening to allow in Chinese tourists in the initial stage and for construction of a duty free zone to lure more tourists, in line with the central government's goal of doubling the number of tourist arrivals to Taiwan by 2008.

"Turning to the issue of developing gambling in Penghu, Lai was neutral, but he voiced his concern over the profound complications in many areas that could result from such a move.

"Penghu's friendly environment for both children and the elderly, as well as its good public order and unique local flavor will disappear if gambling is permitted on the island, Lai claimed, adding that such a major issue must be assessed and projected thoroughly…"

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