Saipan casino fight goes to Washington

    A fight over a proposal to develop a $2 billion resort and casino on the Northern Marianas island of Saipan has been taken to Washington, Politico reported.
    It said Asia Pacific Resort & Entertainment intends to spend $150,000 on lobbying activities related to casino legislation on the island.

    The firm has retained former Sen. Al D’Amato, former Rep. Vito Fossella and the firm Park Strategies to work on its behalf. It gave no further details of what the lobbying may entail. The Northern Mariana Islands are one of five inhabited U.S. island territories.

    Marianas Stars Entertainment and Best Sunshine International have both paid initial deposits for the right to bid for the casino license on the island. However, the process has become mired in litigation, with Marianas Stars requesting a temporary restraining order from the Superior Court to prevent the government making a decision on the winning bidder.

    The court recently extended the order, which was originally due to run out on June 29th. Marianas Stars said its interests would be “irreparably damaged” if the process were to continue at present.