As a show of “good faith,” the Rota Casino Gaming Commission will repay at least $2,000 of its $290,000 debt to the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation once a Rota local bill is passed and signed into law.
Rep. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota) said her House Local Bill 17-88 appropriates $2,000 revenue from poker and pachinko slot machines for the SNILD, but the measure has yet to be acted on by the Rota Legislative Delegation, which postponed its session at least twice last week.
Santos said the $2,000 will be reimbursed to the Rota Legislative Delegation “as soon as the Rota casino generates funds that will be available for appropriation,” in an Aug. 30 letter to Rota Casino Gaming Commission chair Laura I. Manglona, documenting their phone conversation on the matter.
Only Rota Treasure Island has started operating on Rota but this has been temporarily stopped for financial reasons, and another investor also plans to operate a casino on the island.
In a phone interview yesterday, Santos said the commission acknowledges its obligation to the delegation. She said this repayment, albeit only a small fraction of the total amount, “is a gesture of good faith.”
Rep. Ray Tebuteb (R-Saipan), chairman of the delegation, has been making inquiries regarding the non-payment of the Rota Casino Gaming Commission's debt to the delegation when there is a local appropriations bill that has already been introduced.
Zoning board confirmation
In other news, the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation confirmed two nominees to the Commonwealth Zoning Board on Friday.
The Saipan delegation confirmed “with condition” the nominations of Gus Kaipat and Bruce Bateman.
House Speaker Eli Cabrera (R-Saipan) said the “conditional confirmation” stemmed from the unavailability of drug test results for the nominees. If the drug test results come back positive, the confirmation will be revoked.
“But I have no doubt that their drug test results will be negative,” Cabrera said.