President reiterates opposition to Penghu casino plan

President Tsai Ing-wen (???), who is also chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), reiterated on Wednesday the party's opposition to the opening of casinos in Penghu County, with the outlying island set to vote on Oct. 15 on whether to permit casino development.

The party's position on the matter has not changed, Tsai said at a DPP Central Standing Committee meeting, adding that Penghu should focus on developing tourism rather than rely on gambling for local development, according to DPP spokesman Wang Min-sheng (???).

This will be the second time Penghu residents have voted on the casino issue. The county held its first referendum on gaming in September 2009, after the government lifted a ban on gambling on the islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.

However, a total of 17,369 votes or about 56.44 percent of total valid ballots were cast against a plan to build a casino in Penghu.

Noting that the DPP now controls central and local governments, Tsai said during the meeting that the DPP administration would demonstrate its resolve and ability to promote economic development in Penghu. She emphasized that gaming is not the only way to boost local development, particularly given the county's abundant natural resources which make it a prime location for tourism development, according to Wang.

At the meeting, Tsai noted that the DPP's position on the legalization of gambling in Penghu remains the same as it was in opposition, according to Cabinet Spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???).

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel