Claims of human trafficking and forced labour are to be heard in the Northern Marianas following a decision by the federal court.
The US territory has cleared the way for seven Chinese construction workers to have their cases heard against the developers of Saipan's Imperial Pacific Casino.
The men are seeking monetary compensation for "injuries and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages".
They allege they were beaten by supervisors and made to work more than 12 hours a day, and sometimes 24-hour shifts.
The case is being brought against three companies involved in the casino development - Hong Kong-owned Imperial Pacific International, as well as Chinese owned MCC International and Gold Mantis Construction.