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Ma vows to legalize gambling in outlying county

Opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou Thursday pledged to turn the remote Penghu County into a tourist haven where casinos and direct air link service with China are available, if he wins the presidency next March.
Ma made the promise while canvassing in Penghu to woo voters there.“I would support the building of casinos here to attract tourists at home and abroad,”Ma told a seminar on Penghu's economic development.“To that end, the local airport would be placed on the consideration list for direct air link with China.”
Ma has built his campaign around boosting the economy chiefly through greater exchanges with China. The KMT nominee said he has been concerned about Penghu's economic development since he was a minister-without-portfolio under the former KMT administration more than a decade ago.
Ma related he flew personally to Canada and Singapore in recent years to see how the two countries dealt with casino facilities and believed they could bring economic prosperity to Penghu County and the country as a whole, if properly regulated and supervised.
While supportive of legalizing gambling in Penghu, Ma said there must be complimentary measures to minimize negative impacts associated with the practice. Casinos should be deemed as part of the answer to developing the outlying area, Ma said, adding that his ruling team will draw up a comprehensive program, if he is elected in 2008.

Updated : 2021-05-17 19:19 GMT+08:00