Penghu, Casinos and the Future of Taiwan?

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Friday October 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Penghu has always had a unique role in Taiwan's history. The Dutch fought the Ming to a standoff there, and as a result the Ming gave the Dutch Taiwan as a place from which to operate. When the Qing wanted to drive Zheng Zhi-long's Ming loyalists out of Taiwan, they first captured Penghu. When the Japanese wanted to fully take over Taiwan, they also first occupied Penghu and so the saying developed, as Penghu went, so went Taiwan. Now as Taiwan looks for ways to revitalize its economy, Penghu again appears to be stepping up to the plate. How's that? No there is no war; this time the word is Casinos.

The plans for a Casino (oops, we don't use that word any more, recreational gaming is one of the more preferable euphemisms) are much further ahead than you imagine. The properties are acquired; zoning has been worked out; what has been talked about is well on its way to becoming a reality. Amazing Holdings PLC is leading the charge.

Why casinos? Well I must admit I was a tad surprised when I heard that Macao with its renovations and new places like the Venetian had already out-grossed Las Vegas in gambling revenue. So as the economy slows down, it seems that Penghu and Taiwan are looking to get in on the action in their own way. What next? Stay tuned, you will soon be hearing of the reality.