Pacific Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands’ House of Representatives has repealed a bill to allow casinos on the island of Saipan and re-enacted the legislation with amendments to correct ambiguities, The Saipan Times said.
The amended bill awards full power to the Lottery Commission to issue a license and designates the Lottery Commission’s chairman as the expenditure authority for the application fees.
Two companies are currently competing for a license to build a $2 billion resort on the island, though the process has become mired in legal wrangling.

Marianas Stars Entertainment, which is one of two companies competing for a license to operate a $2 billion integrated resort on Saipan, says its project will provide a boost of between $300 million to $500 million to the island’s economy once it’s fully operational and will provide 5,000 jobs.
The company said the project will give a $50 million bump to growth during the construction phase from 2015 to 2017.

CLUB C Saipan, a gaming and entertainment venue, located at Kanoa Resort Saipan, opened its doors on Saipan, Northern Marianas. The facility is currently open from 11am to 3am daily, and features 8,000 square-feet of entertainment space, gaming machines and stadium-style electronic table games with a seating capacity of 200. Major suppliers include Aruze and LT, and a mix of slots. Club C Saipan comes on the heels of the introduction of the E-Gaming Law signed last December 2013 on the Island of Saipan.

The Superior Court of the Northern Mariana Islands is scheduled to rule this week on whether to grant a preliminary injunction preventing the government from making a decision on granting a casino license on Saipan, according to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing from Imperial Pacific International, whose Best Sunshine unit is one of two applicants.
The company also confirmed its intention to make cash distributions to all Saipan locals should it be granted the casino license.

A fight over a proposal to develop a $2 billion resort and casino on the Northern Marianas island of Saipan has been taken to Washington, Politico reported.
It said Asia Pacific Resort & Entertainment intends to spend $150,000 on lobbying activities related to casino legislation on the island.

The firm has retained former Sen. Al D'Amato, former Rep. Vito Fossella and the firm Park Strategies to work on its behalf. It gave no further details of what the lobbying may entail. The Northern Mariana Islands are one of five inhabited U.S. island territories.

The Superior Court of the Northern Marianas has extended a temporary restraining order preventing the government from making a decision on granting a casino license on the island of Saipan.
The original order, made at the request of Marianas Stars Entertainment, one of two bidders for the license, was scheduled to expire on June 29th. The company has argued that its interests would be “irreparably harmed” if the process were to continue at present.

The Superior Court in the Northern Marianas has issued a temporary restraining order preventing the government from making a decision on a license for a $2 billion casino project on the island of Saipan, according to reports.
The order was granted by Associate Judge David Wiseman on request of Marianas Stars Entertainment, one of two bidders for the license. The company said it would have been irreparably harmed without the order, without giving further details.

Marianas Stars Entertainment, one of two companies competing for a casino license on Saipan has called on the government to consider allowing both projects to go ahead, according to local media.
The company published an open letter in Saipan’s newspapers saying such a move would promote competition and double public revenue.

A petition to gain enough signatures to force a referendum on Saipan’s decision to legalize casinos has garnered 3,000 names and has been submitted to the Attorney General’s office, local media said.
The petition needed the signatures of at least 20 percent of qualified voters, or 3,600 signatures. However, campaigners said they can still submit more signatures on or before July 6 and they are confident of gaining the required amount.

The Native American Snoqualmie tribe has filed a lawsuit against One Hundred Sands seeking to recoup a $1.5 million investment in Fiji’s first casino project, local media said.
The government awarded the license to One Hundred Sands and the Snoqualmie in 2011, but the project has been plagued by delays and the tribe chose to pull out.
The report cited tribe chairwoman Carolyn Lubenau as saying it has not managed to have contact with the developers for months and the lawsuit was the tribe’s only remaining option.