Taiwan Legalizes Casino Gambling

Macau’s gaming industry, and along with it the local economy, has been flattened by the measures Beijing has imposed to limit the growth in high-roller gambling.

Now Taiwan wants in. It has approved legislation that would legalize gambling on the Penghu archipelago, a group of small islands in the straits between the Taiwan and the mainland. Chinese gamblers are its target audience. Taipei hopes they will shift Penghu’s way a big chunk of the $10 billion a year in gaming revenue that Macau generated before the restrictions were imposed.

One way Beijing has cracked down on gambling in Macao, the only region where gambling is legal, is to restrict travel there. Guangdong residents, for example, are limited to one visit every three months. Taipei is gambling that as cross-strait relations improve and travel becomes easier  there will be thousands of gamblers among the increased flow of tourists and business travelers — and that they won’t bring with them the economic distortions they caused in Macau.

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Filed under China-Taiwan, Economy

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