Penghu protesters drum up anti-casino sentiment

On Monday, a number of anti-gambling protesters gathered outside the Legislative Yuan, urging Penghu voters to say “no” to casinos in the island, China Post reports.

The protesters, which included Penghu community representatives, scholars, religious leaders, lawmakers and parents argued that pro-gambling groups were over inflating the benefits that casinos would have on the economy.

The demonstrators reportedly chanted “No to casinos, save Taiwan; no to casinos, save Penghu.” The campaigners are also reportedly seeking to have lawmakers amend the existing Offshore Island Development Act which would remove that articles that permit the establishment of casinos if the consent of locals is obtained.

In the first referendum in 2009, 56.4 percent of total valid ballots was against the introduction of casinos.

In 2012, a referendum saw the residents of Matsu voting in favour of casino resorts as a means of attracting tourists and boosting the local economy.

A second referendum on gambling is likely to take place before the end of the year.