8 Mar 2011

CNMI House minority leader says let Saipan voters decide-again-on casinos

11:50 am on 8 March 2011

A House minority leader in the Northern Marianas, Diego Benavente, says voters should decide whether casino gambling on Saipan should be legalized, instead of having lawmakers try to pass another casino bill.

Saipan voters twice rejected legalizing casino operation on Saipan.

Tinian and Rota voters have already approved legalizing casinos on their islands.

South Korean and Hong Kong investors have approached lawmakers in recent days and weeks to express their interest in putting up casino operations on Saipan, with investments of anywhere between five million US dollars and 300 million.

Instead of passing a pending casino bill, Mr Benavente says members who want to allow casinos on Saipan should instead introduce a legislative initiative or focus on other tourism-related projects.