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Northern Marianas Tourism

Northern Marianas Senator pushes to get Casino industry going

Jul 26, 2009

Rota Sen. Paul A. Manglona has been pushing to get the island's casino industry moving as he cited that a lot of residents from the island have moved to Guam and the U.S. mainland due to ailing economy.

In an interview, Manglona said their casino commission has been working hard in getting the rules and regulations done and has been looking for those interested to build a casino on Rota.

Manglona said, right now the casino commission is still in need of funding to work with the consultants, attorneys, and some limited marketing.

He said the commission has not yet realized the appropriation of $500,000 given through the generosity of the Saipan delegation local funding assistance.

“We are looking at borrowing some funding so they can fulfill their responsibility and other plans in moving this industry forward,” the senator said.

The lack of funding, he said, handicapped the commission's operation significantly.

“We are working to assist the casino commission,” he stressed,

Manglona said with the bad economy, employment opportunities on Rota are very limited.

With respect to tourism industry, he said that, at one point last year they thought the island could pick it up with the entry of Korean tourists.

The senator said as the Korean won's exchange rate went down, it affected the island's excitement in getting Korean tourists.

He said the other aspect that he is trying to push is a need to get moving on the Capital Improvement Projects so at least the construction industry will open up employment to local people.

Manglona said the Rota leadership also recently worked with the Marianas Visitors Authority to continue with the direct charter flights from Japan.

He said the swine flu problem, however, has significantly affected the Japanese tourists arrival.

Northern Marianas Senator pushes to get Casino industry going
Source: Saipan Tribune

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