Saipan – The House of Representatives yesterday by a 14-1 vote passed a bill allowing additional gaming entertainment for tourists by amending the definition of gambling device to exclude electronic gaming machines.
The Saipan Tribune reports that if the revenue-generating measure, authored by Rep. Tony Sablan, becomes law it will legalize electronic table games such as poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, big wheel, slot machines, baccarat, pai gow, and sic bo, as well as any of their variations or composites in the CNMI.
Sablan’s House Bill 18-51 is geared toward tourists from China.
Vice Speaker Frank Dela Cruz was the only one who gave a resounding “no” to the bill.
Dela Cruz said the additional gaming entertainment are just like any other form of gambling that he does not support, adding that sooner or later local people will get their hands on these devices.
Poker machines, for example, were initially envisioned to target tourists but later catered to residents and barely any tourist plays in poker parlors anymore.