23 Dec 2008

Attempts to limit pokie machine access in Northern Marianas

2:39 pm on 23 December 2008

A private sector proposal to ban all poker machines outside of licensed casinos in the Northern Marianas has been passed on to the Legislature.

The Strategic Economic Development Council's resolution seeks to eliminate certain poker machines in the Commonwealth by the end of June next year.

The Governor of Northern Marianas Benigno Fitial is supporting the proposal.

The Governor's press secretary Charles Reyes Junior says reasons given by the Council and its chairman includes increased problem gambling,increased armed robberies on poker arcades and the detrimental impact on families.

"The chairman called for this proposal to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature. And this proposal will entail the ban of poker machines in the CNMI except for the licensed casino operations - that would be the only place where the poker machines would be permitted under this proposal."

Charles Reyes says presently the only licensed casino is on Tinian with a proposed licensed casino operation on Rota.