30 Jul 2014

CNMI casino deal expected by week’s end

3:25 pm on 30 July 2014

The Northern Marianas Lottery Commission is expected to finalise a minimum two billion US dollar casino development agreement by the end of the week.

The company, Best Sunshine International, looks set to ink the deal, which has courted controversy since the passing of the casino law allowing the development to go to tender.

Among the contentious issues in the negotiations include the location of the casino and 2,000 rooms, on the limited space available on Saipan.

Both parties are reportedly finalising their changes to the draft agreement.

Based on Best Sunshine's four-phased integrated resort plan presented in May, the first phase includes a 401-room hotel and casino by 2017-2018.

The grand opening is set for 2020, with the full complement of 2,000 rooms.

The deal will pave the way for the $30 million dollar payment of a deferred 25 percent pension for retirees.