Marianas Stars says casino to boost economy by $300 – $500m

    Marianas Stars Entertainment, which is one of two companies competing for a license to operate a $2 billion integrated resort on Saipan, says its project will provide a boost of between $300 million to $500 million to the island’s economy once it’s fully operational and will provide 5,000 jobs.
    The company said the project will give a $50 million bump to growth during the construction phase from 2015 to 2017.
    Marianas Stars highlighted its detailed plans for its resort after its attempt to halt the decision-making process on the license through a preliminary injunction was rejected by the Northern Marianas Superior Court.
    Marianas Stars says it plans to build four new hotels, a casino, a theme park, a multi-purpose venue and a waterfront village.
    The casino would have a total floor space of 20,000 metres, with 300 tables and 700 electronic gaming machines.
    The company is targeting a mainly Chinese audience located within a five-hour flying distance of the island.
    Marianas Stars had attempted to block the license process, saying the Lottery Commission, which is controlled by the executive branch, is not legally empowered to grant the permit and may be subject to bias.
    “When we filed our lawsuit, one of our principal concerns was that the Lottery Commission, which has none of the independence and safeguards of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, had usurped the duties of the Casino Commission,” the company said.
    “If the people choose casino gaming for Saipan, Marianas Stars wants to be a part of it—but only if it’s done right, through a fair and transparent process that’s supported by the people,” it said.
    Competitor Best Sunshine, which is owned by Hong Kong’s Imperial Pacific, last week confirmed that if it wins the license it has pledged to make a $10 million contribution to the local community, distributing the amount through cash vouchers to all locally born adults.
    It will also pledge $20 million in cash to be distributed within 60 days of commencing construction works on its first hotel in the project and at least $20 million in cash every year after the first full year of operations.