The Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives has passed on a 10-5 vote, a bill legalizing casino gambling on Saipan.
The majority of those who voted "yes" on the casino bill yesterday, they cited the need to restore 80 work hours bi-weekly, save the CNMI Retirement Fund, and boost the struggling economy that now only relies on tourism
The 29-page casino bill says five casino licenses are available, but a casino commission has the authority to issue or provide for an additional number of licenses, subject to the approval of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.
The cap does not apply to one casino that is owned collectively and operated by a chartered Northern Marianas Descent corporation.
The casino bill is now on its way to the Senate for action.
The upper chamber had thumbed down a similar bill last year.