Thu, Mar 12, 2009 - Page 4 News List

US consultant assesses Kinmen's casino prospects

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A representative of a US investment consulting firm visited Kinmen County yesterday to assess the county's prospects in developing a casino and tourism industry.

John Turner, a representative of Pro Forma Advisors, traveled to Kinmen on a fact-finding trip arranged by the American Institute in Taiwan.

Turner said his visit was aimed at getting a better understanding of Kinmen's infrastructure and its potential for future development to be able to provide professional advice to his clients.

He will also visit the Penghu islands for the same purpose.

Setting up casinos in Kinmen was made possible after the legislature passed a law in January legalizing gambling on any of the country's outlying islands. The law requires, however, that local residents must approve the plan in a public referendum before gaming projects can be launched.

Turner met Kinmen County Deputy Commissionmer Yang Chung-chuan (楊忠全), who said that details of Kinmen's casino-related law needed to be fleshed out further before it could be put to a referendum.

Yang estimated that supporters and opponents of the casino plan in Kinmen were evenly distributed. He said he hoped that the development of casinos in Kinmen would not compromise the ferry services and tourism exchanges between Kinmen and Xiamen in China's Fujian Province.

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