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Betting in Taiwan

Published on: 08/08/2016

Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China) is made up of many islands situated in the seas of Eastern Asia. Today, the country is run as a unitary sovereign state, and due to the region having been under occupation throughout history, any kind of gambling scene has been difficult to establish. Nearly all forms of gambling are strictly banned throughout the nation.

In the late fifteen hundreds, the Dutch sailed passed Taiwan and dubbed the land “Ilha Formosa” (Beautiful Island), a name which stuck for four hundred years. The island was occupied by the Dutch from 1624 until 1662, during which time, an area on the South West coast was named “Terrace Bay” or “Tayouan”, which overtime morphed into the name “Taiwan”.

From the end of the 17th century until the late 1800s, the island was loosely governed by China’s Manchu emperors. Under their rule, many revolts were instigated by the rebellious locals. In 1887, in an attempt to prevent the Japanese from gaining any power over the South, the Manchu officials announced that Taiwan was to become an official territory within their Empire. Japan’s later victory in the Sino-Japanese War, led to the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which stated that Taiwan should to surrender to Japan. Taiwan’s citizens refused to comply and became the first independent republic in all of Asia. However, Japan’s presence remained steadfast throughout the Second World War.

After the Second World War, the Chinese Nationalist-Communist Civil War broke out. The Nationalists leader, General Chiang Kai-shek, led his forces out of the mainland to form their own government in Taiwan.

Over the next 40 years, Taiwan was ruled by Martial Law. All gambling was forbidden, including Mahjongg games. The law was so strict that anyone caught participating in any form of gambling, with or without the presence of money, could be arrested. In 1987, the Martial Law was scrapped and a new, more lenient law was put into place. Taiwan’s economy was improving, as were the country’s politics. In 1996, an historical event occurred as the people of Taiwan were allowed to vote and elect their own president. The Republic of China’s government arranged for research to be carried out on the Las Vegas casino scene, with particular focus on the links between gambling and crime. Several years later, over half of Penghu Island citizens had voted in favour of proposals to build casinos in the regions between China and Taiwan, with the intention being to benefit the economy by attracting tourism.

The Taiwanese government has more than once pulled out of moves to make gambling a legal activity. Currently, it remains illegal to gamble anywhere within Formosa. The authorities in charge of the surrounding areas and island, also strongly oppose any plans for the building of casinos.

Nevertheless, it is widely thought that a limited amount of Casinos will be accepted in the future. Until such time, the Taiwanese citizens can continue to wager on off-shore betting web sites, as currently there are no laws in place to prohibit them from doing so. Numerous online sportsbooks including William Hill, Stan James and Bet365 happily accept players from Taiwan. Approximately 30 foreign betting sites also provide information using the Chinese language.