Reports suggest that the Taiwanese government may hold back on approval of the legislation allowing resort casino construction on the outlying Matsu Islands chain until the third quarter of 2013.
An unidentified expert told the Macau Business Daily that the process will be belated due to the need of the government to determine how to proceed with the propositions, stating that there is still “a significant amount of consultation on what should be in the tender document.”
William Weidner, head of the expected front-runner to win the Matsu Islands casino contract, Weidner Resorts, has contended for the government to hold the request for proposal, but the source stated that this was unlikely due to the amount of consulting the government believes they need to do.
Adding to Weidner’s dismay is the local government of Fuzhou City who have stated that they will ban residents of the city from travelling to Matsu in order to gamble. Therefore, should Matsu go ahead with the proposed casino project, it is likely that the Fuzhou authorities would be unwilling to cooperate.
Weidner was in the middle of making plans to construct a 2,000-room hotel in the city of Fuzhou to use as a base for tourists to undertake gambling day-trips from the mainland, so the project was expecting to see high volumes of traffic from the area. The possible ban on residents visiting the island for gambling purposes could therefore directly impact on predicted revenues for the project.
Weidner had even penned a deal with Chu Kong Passenger Transport, the Hong Kong-based ferry operator, to ferry punters to and from Matsu.
This block by Chinese authorities is the second in recent weeks as the planned cashless casino resort in the Hainan province was put on hold by local authorities after the project was reported on by Reuters recently. The authorities stated that the operators had “gone beyond the scope” of their license and reportedly padlocked the site bringing a halt to the operation.