Residents of Taiwan’s Kinmen County have emphatically rejected a proposal to develop casinos on the outlying islands in a referendum held on Saturday.
A total of 24,368 citizens voted “no” to casinos with just 2,705 offering their support after an official from the opposition Kuomintang party filed a petition with the Kinmen County Government in April to hold a referendum.
Kinmen is the second county in Taiwan to reject casinos after Penghu returned a similar verdict last year. Although the result of the referendum came as no surprise, it is unlikely that a “yes” vote would have seen any progress anyway given the ruling DPP party’s long-standing opposition to casino gaming.
In 2012, the Matsu Islands voted yes in its casino referendum, but under current law the actual legalization of casinos also requires another bill to be passed by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. The subsequent Tourism Casino Administration Act was drafted in 2013 but four years on is yet to progress any further.
President Tsai Ing-wen has also called for alternate means of generating tourism.