8 Apr 2013

Casino in Saipan seen as solution to CNMI Retirement Fund woes

1:58 pm on 8 April 2013

In the Northern Marianas the House Floor Leader Ralph Demapan and at least eight other representatives are supporting a bill that would allow casino gambling on Saipan.

It is the third time legislation of this kind has been introduced in the past 3 years.

Income from a casino is seen as a source of money for the territory's Retirement Fund and to support basic health and education services.

Up to 80 percent of casino licence fees, gaming taxes, other taxes, fees and payments associated with the Saipan casino operations would go into the pension agency.

The Fund is expected to expire next March unless it receives an immediate infusion of up to 70 million US dollars.

Mr Demapan says opening up Saipan to casino investors is a way to meet this immediate need.