GM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company conducted research many years ago on whether to invest in Taiwan, but later decided to concentrate its Asian investments in Macau, China. Feldman said it is not for him to decide whether or not to invest in Penghu, a group of about 90 islets located off Taiwanese west coast.
A professional team will first be commissioned to gather complete data at the place where the group intends to make an investment, and compile a report with its own investment comments, Feldman said. Then the report will be delivered to the board of directors which will decide whether or not to give the investment plan the greenlight, Feldman elaborated.
Feldman, who is also the senior vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage, pointed out that many things decide whether a casino business will be successful, but the most important factor is that it must be able to attract customers.
Patrons will come because of convenient transportation, comfortable weather, and various and considerate services, he noted. Relevant laws governing investment, casino business operation and gambling also play a key role, Feldman added.
Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on Monday passed an amendment that permits the opening of casinos on Taiwan’s outlying islands. The revision legalizes casino gambling for the first time anywhere in Taiwan.
Under the amendment, casinos must be opened on the premises of international hotels, and operators of the tourism casinos will be exempt from existing criminal statutes that penalize those who gamble.
Supporters of the move said it could create thousands of jobs, attract tourists and generate revenue for the economically depressed Penghu islands, but opponents warn it could bring about undesired consequences, such as crime, gambling addiction and damage to Penghu’s environment.