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Taiwan Premier Seeks National Consensus On New Togel Casinos


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TAIPEI, Nov 5 Asia Pulse – Premier Yu Shyi-kun held up a controversial proposal for lifting the ban on casinos on the country’s offshore counties.

After being briefed by a panel responsible for laying down development plans for the three counties, namely Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, the premier said the idea is considered a major policy concerning the whole country rather than just a strategy aimed at boosting tourism in the offshore counties, and therefore requires a national consensus before a final decision can be made.

In light of the sharp differences between those who favor the idea and those who oppose it, the premier asked the Ministry of the Interior to consult various sections of society on the issue and come up with a comprehensive proposal.

Many public officials from Penghu, including county magistrate Lai Feng-wei and Legislator Lin Ping-kun, are among the fervent advocates of the proposal, considering it a cure for their county’s stagnant economy.

They even held a non-binding referendum wherein, they claimed, more than 50 per cent of the voters voiced their support for the idea of setting up casinos.

However, Vice Minister of the Interior Ke Hsiang-tang, who headed the panel, told the premier that opponents worry that the negative influences brought by gambling, including possible rampant crime, will ruin the pristine island counties.

Number of casinos: 18, including 16 community casinos and two “destination” casinos (those designed to attract tourists and include other amenities, such as a hotel or marina). Of the 18 casinos in B.C., 10 are in the Lower Mainland and 12 offer slot machines.

– Money generated for the province for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2002 from casinos ($552 million), lotteries ($962 million) and bingo ($92 million): $1.6 billion.

– Money generated from slot machines vs. table games last fiscal year: $312 million vs. $241 million.

– Amount of gross revenue from commercial Togel gaming that goes to prize payouts, operator commissions and operating and employment costs: 70 per cent.

– Of the revenues the province nets from casinos, amount that goes to the host local governments: 10 per cent for community casinos and about 17 per cent for destination casinos.

– Local government’s share of the $552 million generated in 2001/02 for the province from casinos: $32.5 million, which broke down in the Lower Mainland as New Westminster, $6.6 million; Burnaby, $6.3 million; Vancouver, $3.6 million; Coquitlam, $2.9 million; Richmond, $2 million; Surrey (now closed), $500,000.

– Casino operators’ share of the $552 million generated (after prize payouts) in 2001/02 from B.C.’s 18 casinos: $193 million (derived from 25 per cent of slots revenue and 40 per cent of game tables revenue; casinos pay expenses from that amount).

– Number of private-sector casino operators that run the casinos for the province: 8.

– Amount the B.C. Lottery Corp. dedicates each year to B.C.’s problem gambling program: $4 million.

– Number of calls last year to the 24-hour problem gambling help line last year: 1,600, or about four to five a day.

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