20 Nov 2015

CNMI amends casino legislation

3:24 pm on 20 November 2015

The legislature of the Northern Marianas has approved controversial amendments to the casino bill which is now headed to the acting governor for approval.

Among other things, the bill allocates 35 full-time employees to the Commonwealth Casino Commission and, perhaps for the first time in local statutory history, defines and declares these employees as essential in case of a government shutdown.

It also incorporates Attorney General Edward Manibusan's concerns over provisions that would exempt regulators from the Open Government Act and establish a revolving fund from license fees for use solely by the commission, among others.

A provision allowing a person under 21 working at the casino to handle and serve alcohol was also questioned, but remained.

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