Gambling laws are different in the different islands included in the Northern Mariana chain. In 1989, Tinian regulated its gambling market and only 6 years later, the island celebrated the opening of its first casino. The Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission is the regulatory body, that is tasked with overseeing the business on the island. Unlike many other Northern Mariana islands with a negative attitude towards gambling, Tinian has approved a gambling framework long time ago.
Over the past few years, Tinian gambling industry has seen a steep decline due to the lack of tourists. Currently, Tinian’s casino industry is on life support, struggling to regain its lost glamor. In 2015, Tinian’s casino industry received yet another blow, after the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCEN imposed a hefty fine of $75 million on the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino for anti-money laundering lapses. Since then, the doors of the casino remained closed and all plans for its reopening hit the rail by far.
Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino Hides Great Potential
In 2016, Tinian Entertainment Corp (TEC) took over the shuttered casino, but FinCEN explained that the new owners should firstly pay the fine before reopening the gambling property. The new owners, on the other hand, seemed to be reluctant to pay the fine. Currently, the casino is still defunct, but there is a ray of hope for its reopening.
On Monday, a group of eight Hong Kong investors visited the island to examine the potential of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino and its reopening. Tinian Entertainment Corporation owner Tim Chen accompanied the group in an attempt to outline all the advantages of the property and its eventual reopening in front of the other potential investors.
In an interview, Mr. Chen said that he was one of the creditors behind the previous management of the Tinian Dynasty. He shared that he has interest in renovating the gambling property, but the stiff $75 million financial obligation to FinCEN prevents him from realizing his plans.
Mr. Chen added that he has already hired lawyers in Washington in an attempt to resolve the problem as soon as possible. He explained that the lack of trained workforce might be the other problem for the casino to reopen. Nevertheless, Mr. Chen stated that the reopening of the gambling property hides a great potential due to the recently completed Tinian International Airport terminal. Mr. Chen elaborated that the 435-room hotel has the potential to turn into the perfect accommodation spot for the coming tourists.