14 Feb 2014

Senate president says Saipan casino could be resurrected

2:52 pm on 14 February 2014

Despite already rejecting it twice, the Senate of the Northern Marianas may yet again look at legalising casino operations on Saipan.

The Senate President Ralph Torres says a House bill legalising casino gaming, which was shelved by the Senate in November, may be resurrected.

Mr Torres, who will be Governor Eloy Inos' running mate in the November gubernatorial elections, says major revenue-raising bills like casino operations on Saipan need to move so that retirees' deferred 25 percent pension cut will be restored.

Legalising casino operations on Saipan has been a divisive issue in the CNMI.

Its opponents have been citing the social ills of casino gaming, but lawmakers supporting it on Saipan say it's the only industry that could immediately pump millions into government coffers, just on the application fee and licence alone.

The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino is currently the territory's only casino.