Foreign worker crisis to hurt BSI

Some 1,300 foreign workers in Saipan will be “shepherded out” by October, amid an ongoing contract worker crisis in the Commonwealth.

The crisis has already affected Saipan’s Best Sunshine International, according to Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Edward C. Deleon, with over 130 casino employees who will have to leave the Commonwealth in July, reports the Saipan Tribune. June saw around 90 employees leave the casino.

Asked how BSI was responding to the issue, Deleon said they are trying to hire U.S. or local workers and “trying to move up the training” schedules for local workers for casino operations.

Should workers be in short supply, BSI is expected to focus energy on its VIP operations, which makes up the bulk of the revenue of its temporary casino.

Last week, representatives of the Commonwealth Casino Commission in Saipan told the House of Representatives that imposing an additional 10 percent tax on casino gaming revenue was not appropriate at this time.

According to the Marianas Variety, the commissioners told lawmakers that before acting to impose an additional tax on the casino to “take a moment, step back and look at the horizon,” pointing out the fees already being paid by Best Sunshine, including an exclusive license fee, gross gaming tax, the BGRT and regulatory fees were enough, and that a 10 percent additional tax may not be prudent at this time.