Judge stops revoking Rota Resort’s casino license


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has permanently barred the Rota Casino Gaming Commission and its commissioners from terminating or revoking the casino license of SNM Corp., which owns the Rota Resort and Country Club.

Camacho on Monday repealed an unnumbered Rota Casino Gaming Commission resolution in its entirety and declared that it has no force or effect.

The judge issued the permanent injunction after SNM Corp. and the Rota Casino Gaming Commission entered into negotiations and reached a resolution on SNM’s lawsuit against the commission.

Camacho ordered the commission to issue an amended casino license to Rota Resort Casino on or before Nov. 30, 2016. He said the amended casino license should reflect a valid unconditional casino license effective Oct. 2, 2013, and expiring on Oct 1, 2018.

The parties waived all claims on attorneys’ fees and costs. The commission waived its claim to attorney’s fees under the Open Government Act and its claims of violations of the Act.

The commission dismissed its claim as to the Open Government Act violations.

Attorney Robert T. Torres is counsel for Rota Resort. Attorney Joaquin DLG. Torres is counsel for the Rota Casino Gaming Commission and its commissioners.

Last month, the owner and president of Rota Resort and Country Club filed the lawsuit against the regulatory agency and its commissioners for allegedly declaring their conditional casino license deemed expired on July 15, 2016, during a “special meeting” which was done in violation of the Open Government Act.

SNM Corp., owner of Rota Resort and Country Club, and SNM president and chair Hee Kyun Cho, sued the Rota Casino Gaming Commission, Commission chair Joaquin S. Manglona, Commission vice chair Francisco S. Calvo, and commissioners Mateo A. Santos and John William King.

SNMI and Cho, through counsel Torres, asked the Superior Court to issue an injunction preventing enforcement of any and all actions of the Rota Casino Gaming Commission.

Torres requested the court to prevent the commission from holding any further meeting or taking any further action related to SNM.

Last Oct. 4, SNM received a copy of a resolution passed by the commission, which states that, “since the issuance of the conditional license on July 15, 2011, more than five years ago, there is still no casino and there is no evidence that anything is being done on this casino project as proposed by the SNM Corp. in its business plan.”

The resolution further states that, “the proposed project has not served the interest of our community.”

The resolution also resolved that the commission has decided that the conditional casino license issued to SNM Corp. on July 15, 2011, had expired on July 15, 2016.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.