Commerce Secretary Mark O. Rabauliman said they have already ironed out the mix up that took place a few months ago involving one of their personnel from the Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Control at the Best Sunshine Live temporary training facility.
The ABTC personnel allegedly tried to open every door inside the casino premises inside the T Galleria mall in Garapan in search of a business license.
Rabauliman said it was just a simple misunderstanding and confusion. “ABTC has its own mandate and so does the [Commonwealth] Casino Commission. We are both enforcement agencies.”
“We already had a meeting where I brought my entire ABTC enforcement team to talk with our counterparts at the commission. We had the chance to meet and talk to each other so we could have a clear understanding of our respective mandates.”
Rabauliman said they plan to meet regularly with casino commission officials in order to work closely on issues involving alcohol and tobacco. “We must know how we could assist each other rather than stepping over each other’s foot, because at the end of the day, we all work in the same government; we enforce similar rules. They are in the money management side while we are in ABTC enforcement side. Everything now has been cleared up and we had already established communication for a better working relationship.”
CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero echoed the same sentiment, saying they also wanted to focus more on interagency cooperation with ABTC and other enforcement divisions of the government.
“Whether you are with [the Department of Public Safety], Customs, ABTC, [Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality], we’re all in the same government and are enforcing the same CNMI laws and other regulations.”
“Our presence in the casino is 24-7. So, if you have any issue in terms of regulatory responsibility in the licensee’s premises, we are present there as a government agency. We are working together. Our resources are at the disposal of any regulatory agency.”
“We had already discussed interagency cooperation for day-to-day enforcement. Before we give the green light to open the facility, we asked them to submit any regulatory requirement.”