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Saipan’s Casino Poker Gambling Law

Following China’s crackdown on illegal casino gambling operations, the islands of Micronesia have made headlines in the casino gambling industry for their tough new stance on taxation revenue from poker machines. Saipan’s House of Representatives has just passed new laws that aim to change the way in which casino gambling operators contribute to state revenue.

Saipan’s governor now has 45 days to decide whether to force casino gambling operators to pay annual fees rather than quarterly fees to the State’s Treasury. Under the Poker Machine License Fees Act 2006, each slot machine licensed in Saipan earns the government an annual payment of $12,000. Approximately 1,226 poker machines are licensed in Saipan’s casino gambling establishments. The proposed change to the fees structure, which would force casino gambling operators to pay each machine’s fee in total rather than by quarterly installments, is to ensure that firms do not renege on payments. Government sources have calculated that the present system costs Saipan over $7 million dollars in revenue annually.

The new legislation also aims to increase funds for law enforcement agencies to police the island’s other existing casino gambling laws. News of the planned changes in legislation has been widely condemned by casino gambling operators. Those with multiple poker machines state that the government’s demand for annual payments is unreasonable, given the cost associated with each one.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.