A bill introduced by CNMI lawmaker Ralph N. Yumul would allow five casino licences on Saipan if IPI’s exclusive licence is finally revoked.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Ralph N. Yumul, house floor leader, has introduced a bill to allow five casino licences in Saipan. According to Yumul, as IPI has not been able to pay taxes and its US$15m exclusive licence fee, the island needs more than one operator.
He said: “Tying the fate of the retirees’ pension to one single industry was risky, it was even more dangerous to tie the funding for the retirees’ pension to an exclusive licensee.”
Mariana’s Variety revealed that the bill also mandates that the casinos operating in the Third Senatorial District provide licence fees to pay 25 per cent of pension benefits to all the retirees in the district, reducing reliance on funds generated from the Casino Gross Revenue Tax.
Yumul said that if there were five casino licences each with an annual fee of US$5m, it would result in a total of US$25m, which is US$10m more than what is being required by the current bill.
In June, Andrew Yeom, the CCC’s executive director, has also expressed a preference for more licensees.