Legalized gambling in Taiwan is nothing to gamble on


The China Post news staff

Maybe for once, Taiwanese politicians, often seen as dilly-dalliers, are justified in what some people might refer to as their excruciatingly deliberate deliberation of a gaming law long after the residents of the offshore island Matsu decided by a referendum to build a casino resort there, i.e., perhaps they are really working on it and trying to gauge the possible impact of such a law. And they had better let special interests and developers pushing for the speedy passage of the legislation wait and not succumb to their threats and lobbying efforts, for this is legislation that could potentially benefit a few at the expense of the majority of citizens for many years to come.

Arguments for the speedy passage of the law to license the establishment and operation of casino resorts on the offshore island mainly come from two quarters, namely Matsu residents and developers. While we understand the islanders’ longing for a more vibrant local economy after their past sacrifices and privations, we still hope that they would rather wait for a more circumspect law than settle for hastily drafted and adopted legislation for the simple reason that once the legislation becomes law, the fate of 23 million citizens will also be affected. Matsu may be the first Taiwanese territory to boast a casino, but it may not be the last. Another group of people pushing for the speedy passage of the legislation is an alliance of developers and present-day compradors apparently anxious to make a quick buck by selling the country’s interests to the highest bidder. Definitely not a charity, the alliance has put forward arguments that smack of an irresponsible attitude and moneyed arrogance.