CNMI House Speaker Admits Offering Deal for Support of Saipan Casino BIll

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Guam – House Speaker Froilan Tenorio said he offered Rep. Teresita A. Santos a deal to provide $1.8 million for the Rota Casino Gaming Commission in exchange for her help in convincing Rota senators to pass the contentious gambling measure.

Santos responded by saying the speaker’s statement is “misleading and inaccurate.” She said the bill would have already provided 25 percent revenue for Rota and a commissioner from Rota and Tinian.

However, Speaker Tenorio denied minority leader Diego T. Benavente’s statement that the speaker also offered a deal to both Sen. Pete P. Reyes and his wife, Legislative Bureau director Glenna Reyes, related to the casino bill in exchange for allowing Mrs. Reyes to remain at her post.

The Senate killed Tenorio’s Saipan casino bill during a session on Tinian in September. Casinos are legal on Tinian and Rota, while Saipan is allowed only to operate poker parlors.

denied a deal he purportedly offered the Senate while admitting to an agreement with a fellow House member in exchange for the passage of the Saipan casino bill.