Taiwan

History and Current Status of Gaming in Taiwan: A White Paper

Taiwan has long been a venue of interest among foreign casino investors, originally because of the importance of Taiwan as a source of customers and more recently because of the potential to reach Chinese customers through the ever-increasing transportation and tourism links between Taiwan and China. The effort to bring casino gaming to Taiwan, however, has been a journey of stops and starts over the past 25-plus years, though there has been fairly steady progress since 2009.

In 2009, the Taiwanese island of Penghu held a public referendum on the establishment of casino-based tourist zones. The referendum was the culmination of nearly twenty years of advocacy on the part of politicians, gaming companies, university professors and professional advisors. The referendum failed. However, in 2012, Matsu held a referendum that passed. While the success of Matsu’s referendum was supposed to politically incentivize the Taiwanese government to pass gaming legislation regulating casino operations, and the government did retain a law firm to draft the Tourism Casino Administration Act (the “Act”), the Act has been stalled in Taiwan’s legislature since 2013.

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