Saipan has been working hard to legalize gambling. A proposal is on the table and being discussed this morning by the Senate. The Bill is not expected to pass the Senate after reports of three Senators opposing the Bill.
The Bill, which would legalize gambling in Saipan, has been criticized by leaders in Tinian. It would need seven votes to pass the Senate. There will only be nine total votes.
Three Senators have already come out against the Bill, meaning the odds are strong that it will not reach the necessary seven votes.
Two of the senators opposing the Bill appear to have selfish motives. Tinian, where they are both from, is considering casino expansion. One of the investors in a new Tinian casino has put their plans on hold until the gaming issue in Saipan is resolved.
Saipan legalizing gambling would hurt gaming in Tinian. That has prompted the two senators from Tinian to come out against the new Bill.
Senator Jude Hofschneider from Tinian has stated that he is against the Bill mainly because it will hurt the Tinian expansion.
The other issue that is causing trouble in the Senate with the Bill is that voters do not want the gaming.
“My position has not changed. I oppose it for its defects. And I don’t think I, as a lawmaker from Tinian, have the authority to enact something that has already been rejected by the people of Saipan,” said Senate President Joseph Mendiola.
Discussions will take place today in the Senate before a vote on the issue is taken to a vote.