The tiny US territory of Saipan in the Western Pacific recently legalized casino gambling and is looking to bring in major foreign investors.
The self-governing American territory of Saipan recently passed a bill legalizing casinos on its territory. Several days after governor Eloy Inos signed the bill into law it was amended to guarantee that a portion of gambling proceeds will be used to finance social expenditures, including rebuilding the dwindling pension fund and subsidizing utility costs. While Saipan is not subject to American gambling laws
it was nonetheless difficult to get the bill through the legislature.
Saipan is part of the Mariana Islands, which were formerly under the control of Imperial Japan before being annexed by the US following World War II. The territory’s economy has struggled in recent years, and casino legalization is intended to do two things: bring in much-needed foreign investment and bring tax revenue into the government’s near-empty coffers.
Saipan courting foreign investors
Since signing the bill Inos has gone to work recruiting foreign companies to invest in resort casino projects there. He has already met with investors from South Korea and Hong Kong, dangling a license for a major casino project which will require a minimum $2 billion investment. Given Saipan’s miniscule size, it is making major casino news.