19 Sep 2012

Hopes for local jobs in CNMI casino developments

7:31 pm on 19 September 2012

The mayor of Rota in the Northern Marianas says all will be done to ensure locals can take advantage of job opportunities linked to the construction of a casino on the island.

The company JMSH says its plans for the Rota Casino and Hotel, will bring up to 20 million US dollars in tax income to Rota, and the CNMI.

The Rota mayor, Melchor Mendiola, says visitor numbers are expected to jump considerably and a thousand jobs will be up for grabs as a result of the development.

He says they will make sure locals have the best chance of getting work.

"The focus on this is to find out also what are the capacity of the local people, and the professions, and through that we're going to open up some kind of educational programme, to have our people train and qualify for the positions, so we can enable our people to be employed first, and what lacks will be brought from the outside community."

The Rota Mayor, Melchor Mendiola says job applications open up in October.

Meanwhile the CNMI Supreme Court has ruled that a municipality does not have the authority to pass a law allowing gambling.

This came after some lawmakers tried last year to circumvent the territorial governor's opposition to gambling on Saipan.

A year ago, the Saipan and Northern Islands members passed a bill legalising casino gambling on Saipan, but the Governor Benigno Fitial vetoed it.

That decision was challenged in courts, leading to today's ruling.