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Matsu Islands to vote on casino resort

  • Francis Kuo, Lian Chiang
  • Taiwan
  • July 5, 2012
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Residents in the Matsu Islands go to the polls on Saturday in a referendum to decide whether to build a controversial casino resort.

Observers predict a close result despite overwhelming opposition to the scheme when the proposal was submitted to authorities last year.

A poll conducted just after authorities announced the referendum in April showed more than 70 percent of Matsu residents opposed the casino but a recent survey suggests the “yes” and “no” camps are running neck and neck.

Opponents say a casino would be morally wrong, destructive and also threaten the livelihoods people already working in the islands’ tourism industry.

Those in favor say a casino would bring much-needed revenue to the islands, which lie 16 nautical miles off the coast of mainland China’s Fujian province.

Around 7,760 people are eligible to vote in the referendum.
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