The senate of the Northern Mariana Islands has passed an amended casino bill, paving the way for the Lottery Commission to select one of two $2 billion casino projects proposed for the island of Saipan.
Best Sunshine International and Marianas Stars Entertainment are both competing for the license and have been mired in a legal battle over the legislative process.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based Honest Profit International has signed a lease accord on 40,087 square meters of land on Saipan, where it plans to build a $130 million, 300-room hotel.
The lease is for 25 years, with an optional 15-year extension for a total of 40 years, local media said.
The company also signed a $100,000 check as security deposit—a new requirement among investors eyeing major developments such as hotels and golf courses.
Honest Profit is planning a five-star resort. Groundbreaking is set for September with completion not likely until the end of 2018, the report said.