Measure to increase maximum penalty vs casino is approved


A measure that would increase the maximum penalty the Commonwealth Casino Commission could impose unanimously passed the House of Representatives last Friday.

Rep. Ed K. Propst’s (Ind-Saipan) House Bill 20-50 garnered unanimous support last Friday.

The bill bumps up the maximum penalty the commission could impose on the casino licensee from $50,000 to $800,000. Propst’s initial proposal would have raised the penalty to $5 million. The amendment was made in the House Gaming Committee, led by Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan) as its chairman.

In a previous letter from the Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero, he described the proposed $5 million maximum penalty as excessive.

“We reviewed the casino jurisdictions of New Jersey, Nevada, and Macau as they hold heavy relevance to current regulations set forth by our commission. They are also viewed as internationally recognized casino regulatory and gaming standards,” Deleon Guerrero said in his comment on the bill.

The bill left the House for the Senate unopposed, 20-0.

Bill widens MVA duties
A bill that widens the duties and responsibilities of the Marianas Visitors Authority now heads to the Senate after the House passed it Friday.

Authored by Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” Guerrero (R-Saipan), House Bill 20-154 seeks to widen MVA responsibilities to include defining, launching, and maintaining projects and programs that enhance the CNMI as a destination; developing, constructing, improving, and maintaining tourist sites and other facilities that will attract visitors; and issuing grants for projects and programs to increase visitor satisfaction.

The bill slid through the House without amendments from the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism, which is also chaired by Guerrero.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 20-0.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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