Gov. Ralph Torres Gives Green Light to Online Gambling in Tinian

In the last months, the Northern Mariana Islands have been striving to improve their gambling sector and the most recent move in that direction was done by Governor Ralph Torres.Mr. Torres inked a new regional measure this Tuesday, which is going to make some minor changes to the Revised Tinian Casino Gaming Control Act and specify that online gambling is now allowed in the area.

The new addition to the recently approved gambling regulation will give more options to the players and will provide more opportunities for business and development in the gaming sector. According to the law, it is now allowed to licensed casino operators to legally offer online gambling through their platform. The only condition is that the casino licensee has a brick-and-mortar hotel which has at least 300 rooms available for booking by the guests of the hotel. The fee those operators will be obliged to pay per year amounts to $300,000, and they will also have to pay a monthly tax which is going to be a 5-percent share of their gross online gambling revenue.

In order to prevent players from outside the borders of the Second Senatorial District to participate in online gambling activities, the casino licensees will have to utilize a geolocation software. As for the amends, it introduces to the initial law, they affect the fees for issuing casino licenses, as well as the rates of the taxes, which have to be paid by the casino operators. The fee which should be paid annually to the commission once the casino’s application is approved will now amount to $500,000. For the time being, there are not many casino operators who meet all the requirements of the authorities and this could result in a delay in the development of the online gambling field in the area.

Gambling Law Introduction

Initially introduced by Rep. Edwin Aldan, the bill was previously known as House Local Bill 20-30. After the addition which happened this week it is going to be called Tinian Local Law 20-5. As it could be recalled at the end of September the authorities of the Island of Tinian have their permission to casino operators to develop their business in the region. The move has been unanimously approved by the Tinian and Aguigan Legislative Declaration and the only thing left was the approval of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Torres.

There have been some mishaps in Tinian’s casino industry through the years and it all began in 2015, when the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino had to cease operation, following a $75-million fine regarding a badly designed anti-money laundering agreement. This fine could not be paid for quite some time and it became a factor preventing the progress in the field. As for the future plans in Tinian, Macau-listed Alter City Group is going to begin the work on its Plumeria Golf and Casino Resort in the spring of 2018.

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