Anti-casino groups continue pushing for no vote

Anti-gambling activists and representatives from various religious groups gathered yesterday to urge Kinmen residents to vote “no” to legalized gambling, local media reports.

A referendum on the matter is scheduled for Saturday next week.

“People in Penghu have voted in two separate referendums to reject legalized gambling. If people in Kinmen [County] also choose to veto the legalization of gambling, it would de facto abolish Article 10-2 of the Offshore Islands Development Act, which forms the legal basis for opening a casino on outlying islands,” said Taiwan Coalition Against Legalized Gambling executive director Ho Tsung-hsu.

Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei warned that gambling will cause harm to local communities.

“Macau and Singapore have showed that locals, rather than tourists, quickly become victims of gambling,” she said.

Presbyterian Pastor Lin Wei-lien said that Kinmen residents should think twice before voting and not to pursue the short-term benefits of legalizing gambling.

Legalizing gambling would set a bad example for children and cause the crime rate in Kinmen to rise, said Lin.

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