DPP reiterates opposition to casinos on Penghu

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reiterated Tuesday its opposition to the opening of casinos in the outlying island county of Penghu, saying that setting up casinos is not the only option for developing tourism.

Penghu should promote its own development using an ecological, sustainable or cultural approach that combines its tourism resources, DPP spokesman Huang Shih-cho (???) said in a statement, in response to a second referendum to be held in Penghu Oct. 15 on whether to allow casinos to be opened there.

He said the DPP will do its utmost to protect Penghu's sustainability and does not wish to see any damage to the archipelago's distinctive natural environment, unique culture or its rich and versatile ecological attributes.

Gambling is not allowed on Taiwan proper, but the Legislature passed an amendment to the Offshore Islands Development Act in January 2009, allowing outlying islands to establish tourist casinos if their residents say "yes" through referendum.

In the first referendum held Sept. 26, 2009 in Penghu, a total of 17,369 votes, or 56.44 percent of the total valid ballots, were against the proposal, while 13,397, or 43.56 percent, were in favor. Another 298 ballots were ruled invalid.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel