8 Jul 2014

Saipan casino process to proceed

6:37 am on 8 July 2014

A Northern Marianas court has lifted a restraining order on the Government to stop the vetting process on casino licences.

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach Photo: RNZ / Mark Rabago

The Superior Court Judge David Wiseman denied an application from one of the companies vying for a casino licence to stop the government issuing a licence until all aspects of the casino law were complied with.

The judge said he agreed in principle with Marianas Stars Entertainment, but the public interest test meant the government should be allowed to continue and even issue a licence, at which point the company could then have its argument heard by the court.

Marianas Stars Entertainment is competing with Best Sunshine International for the exclusive licence to develop the casino and each of them have already submitted a $1 million non-refundable application fee, as well as a business plan, and a $30 million refundable deposit.