Legislators have approved an amendment that allows casino licence holders in the CNMI to initiate online gaming operations.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Imperial Pacific International (IPI) might receive approval to operate an internet-based gambling operation on Saipan, Rota and Tinian, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
The islands’ senate voted six against one (with one abstention) this week to pass Bill 21-31, HD1, SS1 with an amendment allowing the establishment and regulation of online gaming.
The bill has now returned to the House of Representatives for the adoption of the proposed amendment. Once it is enforced, it would benefit IPI as the sole operator on the islands.
Senators argued that regulated online gambling poses no greater threat to public health and safety than land-based and welfare-based types of gambling already allowed in the CNMI. They also observed that online gaming could be an additional source of taxes.
According to the Saipan Tribune, the amendment would only apply to casino licence holders, and IPI is the only company with such licence on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Aside from its Saipan casino, IPI plans to complete construction of its Garapan property by the end of 2022.
However, even if the amendment is passed, to operate a legal online business IPI would still have to comply with federal regulations such as the Illegal Gambling Business Act, The Wire Act, The Interstate Commerce No Internet Act, The Racketeer Act, Money Laundering and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.