Saipan casino bill filed


Ralph Demapan, House floor leader in the Northern Marianas legislature, filed a bill with eight co-sponsors to legalize casino gambling on Saipan. The bill would channel up to 80 percent of revenues from taxes and fees to the US territory’s pension agency which is projected to run out of money next March. The bill would allow for an investor to pay $80 million for a 40-year exclusive license or provide for up to three separate casinos that would be licensed for 10 years for $30 million.  Licensees would need to put up half the cost within 90 days of winning approval. Tony Sablan, one of the co-sponsors, also plans to file a bill to legalize electronic table games in Saipan hotels with at least 200 rooms.