The proposal for a two-year extension to allow poker operators to continue conducting business in residential areas is a reasonable one according to t Mayor of Saipan, David Apatang. This opinion was recently expressed by him in a letter regarding House Bill 20-12. This bill is to grant operators and owners of nonconforming gambling businesses a two or more years’ allowance to relocate to those districts where these establishments are permitted.
Poker arcade operators, under existing law, have up until October 2017 to relocate.
Apatang believes that if 50% or more of the current operators of poker shops and current licensed machines will be negatively impacted by the extension or lack of one, it makes sense to have the bill pushed through. He has stated that: “for whatever its worth, we have to defer to the local delegation in order to decide on the fate of the bill but we have support for its passage.”