Casino commission plans to have own office built


The Commonwealth Casino Commission is planning to have its own office, a facility that will have enough room for the entire team.

The commission, which currently rents office space at the Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai, acts as the regulating agency of the gaming industry.

Commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero said they are now communicating with the Office of the Governor to help them find a space where their office could be built.

“We are anticipating that since [Imperial Pacific International, Ltd.] is granted a 40-year license, we would need our own office. Two years had already gone by and we still have 38 more years, so we are looking for a permanent location,” said Deleon Guerrero.

“The commission is requesting Gov. [Ralph DLG] Torres for an available public land. We are asking the governor that the commission be granted a land to build our office. We have already identified two to three sites, one of which is a vacant lot next to the Retirement Fund building.”

The lot area they are looking for measures between 10,000 and 20,000 square meters and the project would cost close to $6 million.

“We are askingfor the governor’s assistance to have the Department of Public Lands help us.”

“We are looking at various funding sources like the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] or [Department of Energy]. We are looking at using a hybrid source of energy, having solar power as back up. We will also have an independent water source.”

Deleon Guerrero said they also plan to coordinate with Epi Cabrera of the CNMI Grants Management Office in looking for various funding sources. “We are looking at a combination of loan and grant.”

“We’re going to look at various funding sources and any other money that we could secure in constructing the office. We’re going to look at the various options available, both local and federal grants in making it a sustainable office.”

Reviewing junket applicants
Deleon Guerrero said they are reviewing two more junket operator applicants, after already granting a provisional license to Big Bang Entertainment, whose clients are mainly from Japan and South Korea.

“There’s already one licensed junket operator and we’re currently reviewing two more. We’re also waiting for others to submit their complete requirements. Once their requirements are complete, they should come here for a personal interview.”

A company owned by Zhang Hong, represented by lawyer Benjamin K. Petersburg, is one of the two that the commission is currently reviewing.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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