Is Taiwan about to cash in on legalised gambling?

By Nye Longman

Taiwan’s government could be making moves to legalise gambling and establish a major casino industry.

In 2009 the Taiwanese approved a referendum that gave outlying islands the right to develop casinos, but so far none have taken advantage of this.  The Taiwanese remain undecided as to whether they want to integrate gambling into their society. Singapore faced a similar choice when building the Marina Bay Sands resort.

The Tourism Casino Administration Act (TCA) has been pending in Taipei for three years, but legislators have not yet put it into action.

President Tsai has also called for lessening Taiwan’s reliance on the Chinese economy, which has cooled ties. Any Taiwanese gambling industry would surely receive a great deal of business from the Chinese – no matter what the given political climate is like. Since her election in January, China has slowed the issuance of travel permits to its citizens visiting Taiwan, cutting deeply into the $6.86 billion contribution to the island’s service sector last year. 

If Taiwan therefore takes a more proactive approach to establishing its gambling industry (through actioning already present legislation and by coming to a workable agreement with China) the island nation will surely be able to unlock billions of dollars increased revenue while creating jobs in the process.  

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