Nevada eyes planned gaming district in Taiwan

Chen Si-ting, head of Nevada’s representative office in Taiwan, visited the Miaoli County government this week to gain a better understanding of its plan to establish a special gaming district in the county’s Tongsiao Township.

An engineering consultancy company commissioned by the county government to select and assess potential sites for the gaming district recently completed its inicial report. The company selected an 800-hectare plot of land near a salt refinery in the township.

In the report, the company said the planned gaming district would attract foreign capital to Miaoli, lead to the introduction of international management techniques that will help in the cultivation of management talent in the county, and raise the county’s tourism industry to international standards.

Miaoli is one of many counties in Taiwan vying for the opportunity to set up casinos if gambling is legalized.

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou said during the campaign that he supported the idea of setting up a gaming district on the island of Penghu if adequate complementary measures were in place, but did not make clear if he backed the idea of casinos on Taiwan proper.

During Chen’s visit Tuesday, Miaoli County Magistrate Liou Jheng-hong said Tongsiao is ideally situated at the midpoint between northern and southern Taiwan and has convenient rail and highway transportation networks.

Last August, a delegation of Nevada state representatives, hotel executives and tourism officials led by Governor Bob Miller visited Taiwan. During the visit, the delegation hosted three lectures on the state’s gaming industry.

Chiang Sung-mao, director of Miaoli County’s industry and commerce department, attended all three lectures to initiate contact between the two sides on the county’s gaming district plan.

Chiang said that because of the county government’s sincerity and high level of interest in setting up the district and its natural and infrastructure attributes, the Nevada government views the planned gaming district as having a lot of potential.