Hong Kong casino bid lost

The Government in Hong Kong has refused outright to even consider the possibility of building a casino in Lantau, agreeing with the majorities of the functional and geographical constituencies in the Legislative Council.

James Tien, leader of the Liberal Party, had previously requested the Government to look into the viability of building a casino in Lantau, claiming that Hong Kong was being left behind by its Asian counterparts.

The proposal was met with strong criticism from anti-gambling groups in Hong Kong, who claimed that a new casino would only heighten current gambling problems.

Secretary for Home Affairs, Patrick Ho Chi-ping, said that the Government was equally concerned by gambling problems and planned to put strict regulations in place.

“Building a casino in Lantau is not in line with our aim of regulating gambling," Ho said, adding that a new study would "send out the wrong message."

Tien wanted a casino in Lantau to replicate the success of the gambling resort in Macau, where revenues have sky-rocketed aiding the economic success of the region. Tien also claimed that almost 20,000 new jobs would have been created, as well as vastly increased tourist numbers.

However, Tien found little support outside his own party.

"Mr James Tien has only been looking from a businessman's interest," said Federick Fung Kin-kee of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood.

Despite Tien’s appeal to the Government, the idea of having a casino in Lantau proved to be far too risky for legislators to even consider. It is thought that Government will now explore other methods to attract tourist vistors.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2006-11-23 11:56:42

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