Penghu residents reject plans for casinos, again

Residents of Taiwan’s Penghu have majority voted “no” to casino development on the island in a referendum held on Saturday.

About 80 percent of the votes were against the introduction of gambling, with around 33,000 voters casting ballots.

It is worth noting that there was a stronger “no” sentiment than in the first referendum in 2009, where the split was 55 – 45.

Soon after the results were announced, the anti-casino coalition issued a statement, saying it that it wanted “clean hometowns,” quoted by Taiwan media.

“We will categorically reject any similar project if raised in the future,” the statement said.

Chen Meng of Penghu’s pro-casino coalition said that his group would not attempt to hold a similar referendum in three years, attributing the strong “no” vote to President Tsai Ing-wen’s public opposition to setting up casinos in Penghu.

“With the president using her influence to oppose it, a serious voting defeat was already expected,” he said.