A request has been made to the local regulator to reopen the casino within Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino (pictured) in time for Christmas, reports a local media outlet in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The casino was closed in August this year “temporarily” according to a statement made at the time by a local official. That shuttering was followed by the closure in September of the venue’s accompanying hotel.
The Saipan Tribune newspaper on Tuesday quoted Lucy Blanco Maratita, executive director of the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission, saying the body had received a request to allow the reopening on December 15 of the casino operation. The report did not mention the source of the request.
But it quoted Ms Maratita saying that if permission were given, the gaming activities would not be on a 24-hour basis, but instead run from 11am each day until 3am the following day.
A company called Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd – at the time operator of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino – was in June ordered to pay a record US$75-million civil penalty by U.S. federal authorities for allegedly violating that country’s anti-money-laundering rules.
It was reported in July that Tinian Dynasty had hired Spectrum Gaming Group LLC – a research and consulting firm providing services to the casino gaming industry including advice on regulatory matters – to bring the gaming resort into compliance with U.S. anti-money-laundering regulations.
The Saipan Tribune on Tuesday quoted the regulator saying that while the venue had paid its US$250,000 annual casino licence fee, conditions for reopening included: payment of some outstanding table and slot machine fees and outstanding taxes; payment of wages due to employees or submission of a payment plan for such back wages; that the casino must continue to contract the services of Spectrum Gaming; that employee licences for gaming work are up to date; and that the casino must identify and disclose the source of funds related to its reopening.
Tinian is one of the three main islands of the U.S. Pacific archipelago. Tinian has its own gaming regulator despite the island covering only 39 square miles (101 sq kilometres) and having – at the time of the 2010 census – a population of only 3,136.
The Commonwealth Lottery Commission – which regulates gaming on the archipelago’s main island, Saipan – in July gave Best Sunshine International Ltd permission to hold a soft opening for its temporary casino there. The facility had a full opening on November 27.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China