Tinian casino developer sets up online petition

The company behind the $130-million Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino has launched an online petition seeking support after the denial of a Master Siting Permit, local media reports.

The Bridge Investment Group (BIG) said it has already spent more than $13 million on construction of the casino resort.

However, a roadblock emerged when the commonwealth regulatory agencies determined that the proposed activities at the Tinian Harbor, by which the casino resort is located, did not meet the technical definition of “port-related activities.”

In its petition, BIG argued that the Tinian casino would serve as a hotel accommodation for passengers who arrive on Tinian via the ferry, and thus would fit the definition.

“The law is not ambiguous: the Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino is a ‘project’ and that the ferry is undeniably a port-related activity,” read the petition, which has now garnered more than 210 signatures.

Should the Commonwealth regulatory agency, Coastal Resources Management, decline to approve the Master Siting Permit, “this will result in the domino effect on Tinian’s economy and will include the lay-off of many local employees, and will negatively impact municipal employees and programs [which] depend on BIG’s monthly payroll of $160,442, annual $500,000 conditional license fee, and monthly average construction and operational expense of $190,000 in the CNMI,” warned the casino developer.