Pacific Islands

One Hundred Sands Chairman Larry Claunch says he has no comments in relation to a $290 million casino venture, which has yet to start, according to local media. He said the company is proceeding and will give details at a later date. Construction on the project has been delayed for several months. Fiji’s Attorney General and Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in December threatened to withdraw the company’s license unless work began soon.

Saipan Governor Eloy Inos has signed an amendment to a bill redefining a gambling device that will allow the operation of electronic gaming machines in hotels on Saipan. The law allows machines in hotels with at least 100 rooms. If they have less than 100 rooms they must be attached to a golf course. The government made the change as a revenue raising exercise. Casino gambling is only legal on Tinian and Rota.

One Hundred Sands said it will resume work on Fiji’s first casino resort on the island of Denarau. The company said that a US $100,000 fine will be paid to the government as a result of the delay, which was in breach of its contract. Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum reconfirmed the government would cancel the exclusivity agreement unless the company is able to demonstrate that construction will recommence shortly.

 

Tinian  congressman Trenton Conner filed a bill that would set a new tax rate of 5 percent on VIP gross gaming revenues from casinos on the island to try to attract more premium traffic.

The bill would would set the tax rate on mass market revenues at 15 percent. Tinian is currently home to only the troubleed Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino but other proejcts are in development.

The Northern Marianas' House commerce committee voted to back a bill to allow the installation of video lottery terminals in hotels with at least 100 rooms 

and airport departure areas. The two legislative chambers have each passed a version of a bill to allow such hotels in Saipan to install electronic table games and the House has also voted to allow casinos in Saipan.

Collections from Guam's new 4 percent gambling tax reached $123,068 through August 20, according to the island's Department of Revenue

 

and Taxation. The government estimates the tax will generate $1.3 million a year. The money is intended to pay for services and improvements at Guam Memorial Hospital.

Jimmy Hsieh agreed to plead guilty to criminal conspiracy to running an illegal gambling operation and money laundering at the MGM Spa in Guam along with several other defendants who previously reached plea deals with prosecutors.

Jimmy Hsieh agreed to plead guilty to criminal conspiracy to running an illegal gambling operation and money laundering at the MGM Spa in Guam along with several other defendants who previously reached plea deals with prosecutors.

The Northern Marianas House rejected the Senate's version of a bill to legalize electronic table games at Saipan hotels with at least 100 rooms or an attached golf course by a vote of 14 to 2. The two chambers' versions, which differ on the allocation of tax proceeds and licensing fees, will now be debated in conference. Saipan Representative Ralph Yumul said the House should consider the Senate version's higher annual licensing fees.

The Northern Marianas House rejected the Senate's version of a bill to legalize electronic table games at Saipan hotels with at least 100 rooms or an attached golf course by a vote of 14 to 2. The two chambers' versions, which differ on the allocation of tax proceeds and licensing fees, will now be debated in conference. Saipan Representative Ralph Yumul said the House should consider the Senate version's higher annual licensing fees.

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