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Taiwan Casinos

Taiwan's legislative body recently voted on a contentious bill to remove an age-old ban on the operation of casinos.

After nearly 20 years of debate on the issue, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) pushed through the law at a vote of 71-26 allowing offshore islands to build casinos only if they are approved by local residents in referenda.

For the referendum to pass, more than 50 percent of the valid ballots cast must support the measure, but it doesn't require that 50 percent of all eligible voters must participate in order for them to be valid.

Taiwan authority said the move would boost the income of the poor offshore islands by attracting tourists.

The outlying islands of Taiwan will now be open to legal land-based gambling. However, its mainland will remain inaccessible to companies such as MGM Grand and the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

The casino gambling law also calls for the establishment of an "outlying island development fund" of nearly $1 billion. No timeline for when a vote would take place was given nor was any indication of when the newly-approved casinos will begin to spring up.