Casino amendments ahead for the Marianas

The Commonwealth Casino Commission wants casino legislation amendments to be approved in the near future.

Northern Mariana Islands.- The Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) is urging lawmakers to pass casino law amendments. The body’s Executive Director Edward C. Deleon Guerrero asked legislators to take action as there is already a bill in the Parliament.

During a House Gaming Committee meeting, he talked about House Bill 21-11, which would “clarify the powers of the Commonwealth Casino Commission and to make needed changes to the Commonwealth Code given the unique regulatory oversight of the casino industry in the commonwealth.”

Deleon Guerrero had introduced HB 20-82 back when he was a representative with a similar purpose. However, the Attorney General’s Office expressed concern about “removing the CCC from the Administrative Procedures Act and Open Government Act” as proposed by the bill.

“Practically every document and piece of information created by, collected by, or provided to the CCC becomes confidential at the sole discretion of CCC. Importantly, there may be certain types of information, such as security procedures implemented at the casino,” AG’s office said and added: “This kind of information should be specified with particularity so that secrecy is the exception rather than the rule of the Open Government Act. As to Administrative Procedures, CCC is given the power to ‘suspend, from time to time, in whole or in part, in the best interests of the Commonwealth, any provision of any regulation promulgated by the Commission.’ As to the Open Government Act provisions, this is a disturbingly broad exemption of CCC from the Administrative Procedures Act, which can be applied at CCC’s sole discretion.”

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