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CR82-p22&23-Feature:SJC-Casino Review 26/7/09 09:45 Page 2
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe casino. But there is no doubt that and lots of seafood.” of the Island along a debris-
Liu dismissed security the real hopes rest with Still, the island faces an
AMZ Holding’s proposal
for Shentou Hill
strewn sandy beach.
concerns as unlikely to affect resorts that would be uphill struggle to upgrade its AMZ’s site, by contrast, is
mainland investment in capable of attracting Main- facilities to make it a world- on Shentou Hill, a peninsula
tourism-related projects. “As land Chinese tourists. Daniel class tourist destination. that faces the islands princi-
long as we have certain Hung says that the Penghu Most tourists currently stay pal town of Mahong, littered
quotas or caps, I think there government has already in small family run bed and with the remnants of Dutch
will be no problem of any secured permission for breakfasts with few hotels of and Japanese fortifications.
kind – after all, money is direct charter flights from any size outside of the Bidding for permissions
money,” Liu said. Shanghai, and their brand capital. to build on the site could
Links between Taiwan new airport, bigger than Little English is spoken begin in 2010. Professor Liu
and China have improved Taipei’s own domestic even among the members of Day-Yang believes that the
greatly since Taiwan Presi- airport, has an international the local government because a majority of the
dent Ma Ying-jeou took arrivals section gathering While the waters around ruling KMT party are pro-
office in May 2008, pledg- dust, waiting for the day the island are teeming with gaming, momentum is still
ing to encourage exchanges when the first mainland tour extraordinary varieties of with the Penghu project, and
and cross-straights tourism groups will arrive. sea life, including hammer- he stresses the MOTC is
while reducing longstand- The current visitor stay on head sharks, diving charters headed by minister of trans-
ing political tensions. The the Island of Penghu is are rudimentary, and the portation Mao Chih-kuo, an
two sides have since agreed already 2.2 days, longer than death defying antics of the ex-MIT graduate known for
to establish the first regular Macau. Daniel Hung said: islands scooter riding popu- his ability to execute
two-way air and shipping “Right now the average lation, and the high inci- complex projects.
traffic in six decades. visitor stays two nights and dence of road fatalities, make Korean manufacturers of
In recent months the three days, by comparison driving around its roads a gaming machines could cer-
number of Mainland Chinese Macau visitors tend to stay hair raising experience. tainly use the help that
visitors to Taiwan has snow- one night and one day.” Penghu is hoping to push would be provided by a fast
balled, with up to 3000 Leading the running to forward with a luxury marina –tracking of casino gam-
tourists a day now making race to develop a casino site development to take up part bling. This year’s GTi Asia
visits, although the arrival of in Penghu is Isle of Man head- of the enormous commer- gaming Expo in Taipei’s
the first mainland tourist quartered AMZ an AIM-listed cial harbour, with an agree- World Trade Centre was just
groups has not come without company that has painstak- ment in place from the Hong half the size of previous
teething troubles. ingly stitched together over Kong yacht club to hold a year’s shows as the exhibi-
Ashley Hines the Taiwan- 90 separate plots of land, and regatta there, but it will be tion organisers blamed the
based representative of UK relocated hundreds of ances- some time before large economic downturn.
casino development firm tral burial sites on a penin- number of tourists will be
The government’s proposed
sites at Peiliao and Houliao
But Professor Day Yang
AMZ holdings believes that sula overlooking Penghu’s able to enjoy the island’s believes it will take at least
even without mainland visi- main town. fresh calamari and unique ten years before casinos are
tors Taiwan’s domestic Hines says he believes that cactus ice cream. permitted to expand beyond
market of 23 million people integrated resorts could In addition to AMZ’s site the outlying islands, which
will easily provide enough work well on Penghu the government has put will be the test bed for
gamblers to make casino because of the other tourist forward two of its own sites casinos in the country.
resorts viable, with the opportunities already in for casino development at “We need to make sure
island just a 40 minute flight place. “There are beaches, Peiliao and Houliao. The they are run well so the
from the capital Taipei. water sports and old fortifi- Peliao site is located on the majority of people in Taiwan
“If a casino opens on cations and ancient villages, site of a bay requiring sub- are satisfied with the
Penghu it will be immedi- and ecology parks but there stantial land reclamation; changes, then we can think
ately packed,” says Hines. are also Karaoke parlours Houliao is at the northern tip of mainland casinos.”
August 2009 • feature 23
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