The Senate passed on first and final reading yesterday a bill that amends the law to separate the regulation of the casino gaming and the hotel facilities.
Saipan Tribune learned that during the session held on Tinian, Sens. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero voted “no” to Senate Bill 22-09. Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) abstained.
Sen. Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota), who introduced the legislation, stated in the bill that the purpose is to clarify that the Commonwealth Casino Commission shall regulate the gaming facilities and activities of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and not the hotel facilities and other non-gaming activities of IPI. This is one of IPI’s requests Tuesday to the Legislature.
Under the bill, CCC shall not regulate the areas of a resort complex or other facility exclusively devoted to other activities, such as a hotel, golf course, and others in which no game is conducted or played an on wagering occurs.
Hocog said CCC was established to regulate the gaming facilities and activities of IPI, not the construction and maintenance of the hotel facilities and other non-gaming activities.
He said the construction and maintenance of the hotel and other non-gaming facilities is currently regulated by federal and CNMI laws and regulations. He said this includes the Building Safety Code, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality regulations, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. regulations, Department of Public Works, Department of Finance, Department of Labor, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other applicable regulations.
The senator said CCC commissioners are not experts in hotel construction and occupancy laws and regulations.