Commonwealth Casino Commission chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero said the casino industry can significantly improve business activities in the territory.
Northern Mariana Islands.- During the Commonwealth Casino Commission’s monthly meeting, its Chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero pointed out that CNMI needs a casino industry that complements its tourism market.
According to Mariana’s Variety, he also noted that part of the casino licence agreement is a requirement to build tourism-oriented integrated resorts.
Deleon Guerrero added the casino industry could significantly increase business activity and generate revenue, enabling the CNMI government to meet its obligations. However, he stressed that casino regulation needs to be tightened for the industry to move forward and thrive.
For his part, Commission Executive Director Andrew Yeom reported that the new government’s transition team visited the CCC offices in December 2022 and conducted a comprehensive review.
Yeom said they briefed the transition team, headed by Joe Rios and including Patrick Sablan and Julie Omar, on the history of the CNMI gaming industry, and a number of issues it is currently facing, including ongoing litigation, gaming legislation, licensing agreements, and the commission’s enforcement actions.
The CCC is currently dealing with the uncertain outlook of Imperial Pacific International (IPI). The casino operator is currently looking for investors to help it reopen its casino in Saipan.
Last November, the CCC reported that its revenue for the fiscal year 2022 was $15,001. One dollar was the commission’s share of CNMI revenue appropriated from the general fund, while $15,000 was the “other regulatory fee” paid by casino operator Imperial Pacific International’s vendors and service providers.
The CCC reported it spent a total of $1,016,613: $561,795 in employee salaries and benefits, $277,461 in executive compensation, $53,240 in operating expenses, $120,000 in office rent, and $9,117 in travel expenses. From an original team of 50, the regulator currently has just 10 employees left, in addition to the commissioners.