Aldan says BIG already paid $500K casino license last January
Bridge Investment Group LLC has already paid the $500,000 annual casino license last January and the plan is to open its casino on Tinian this September, according to Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan on Saturday.
Aldan disclosed in an interview that BIG also paid the same amount for the license fee last year and that he is excited for the casino opening because of the revenue it will bring to the municipality.
Separately, in response to Saipan Tribune’s request for an update on the Commonwealth Ports Authority’s complaint against BIG last year, CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds said yesterday that, according to BIG’s most recent submissions as part of the permitting process, it has agreed to build a waste treatment facility for the casino.
King-Hinds said it wasn’t just CPA that asked for the waste treatment facility, but also the Tinian leadership, which wants to make sure the island’s primary community beach will be protected from any contamination. The proposed casino will be adjacent to the Tinian dock.
She said BIG is still pushing to be allowed to build a temporary waste treatment system in the interim so that they can open the casino as soon as possible. King-Hinds said, however, that she has seen too many projects where something presented as temporary becomes “temporary permanent.”
“Unless there’s a compelling reason to allow for such a move, I don’t think that CPA can support that request,” King-Hinds said.
Aldan said Saturday that the last time they met with BIG representatives, they were targeting this September to open their casino.
“I believe the equipment are there. I’m not [going to] quote how many equipment, but there are a couple of containers that came in and they were already on site,” he said.
Aldan said this is why his office is pressuring the permitting agencies to already go inside the building and start plugging up the electrical that are needed for the computers. “They’re one of the latest computers; e-gaming is what they brought in. These are for electronic gaming,” he said.
The mayor said BIG’s casino is almost as big as that of the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.
As to the market of the casino, Aldan said BIG is targeting a regional approach, such as gamblers from Guam, Saipan, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
“China is out of the picture. Michael Kwan is out of the picture,” he said, referring to the former chairman of Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., the company that previously owned the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.
Aldan said they are not asking for 1,000 gamblers, but only the capacity to accommodate 200 to 300.
He said the casino will provide work for the people of Tinian and generate revenue.
Aldan said he believes the dispute between CPA and BIG has already been resolved.
In July 2020, CPA directed BIG to immediately stop the allegedly unauthorized construction of a casino, a restaurant, and VIP rooms at a building on Tinian that CPA had authorized only for a ferry terminal.
BIG is building the Tinian Ocean View Resort & Casino. In March 2019, BIG and Wyndham Hotel Group held a hotel management signing ceremony for the Wyndham Hotel brand to create a Tinian luxury hotel.