Tinian Mayor Francisco M. Borja has vowed to fight plans to establish a casino on Rota, but said he would vow to wishes of the residents of the island municipality if they approved the project.
“Any form of gambling that is in competition with Tinian, we’re always not in favor of that, but if the people of Rota decided to have it, we cannot stop them,” Borja said in an interview.” “I just hope that they wait for Tinian to be successful then take off from there.”
Last week Rota Mayor Benjamin T. Manglona unveiled plans to establish the ambitious casino project in the island municipality, a proposal he planned to submit to residents in a balloting during the November midterm elections.
Rota residents have rejected twice in the past proposals to establish a gambling business on the island.
According to Manglona, the plan is envisioned to boost Rota’s economy after several companies have expressed interest in pumping in millions of dollars into the casino project.
The revival of the casino project for Rota has divided the Legislature, particularly the Senate, where most members feel the issue is best left to a plebiscite in order to avoid potential political conflict ahead of the elections.
Senate Vice President Thomas P. Villagomez said in a separate interview such plans should be decided by the people of Rota rather than passing the issue to the Legislature.
“Because of the position of the people of Rota and if they want to take that route (referendum), we have no right to stop them,” Villagomez said. “Let them decide what they want to do.”
Aside from the gambling attraction, Rota officials said there will be entertainment and good food to lure tourists, as well as waterpark for families to compliment the municipal government eco-tourism promotions.
The proposed project is expected to cost between $30 million to $40 million.