Happy Thanksgiving from GGB; Newsletter Returns December 4

Marianas Seeking Macau Expertise

Two bidders have emerged for a new exclusive casino license approved for the Pacific island of Saipan. But the government isn’t quite sure what to make of them and is looking for advice from an expert with Macau experience.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas says its Lottery Commission is considering hiring a Macau-based casino investigator and gaming consultant to help review the applications of two investor groups interested in bidding for a single license for a resort casino on the island of Saipan.

Two Chinese groups, Marianas Stars Entertainment and Best Sunshine International, had until this week to deposit US$30 million each in an escrow to be further considered for a grant of an exclusive casino license on the Western Pacific island. Funding to hire the independent investigator and consultant will come from the $2 million non-refundable application fee the two entities have already paid the CNMI government.

One of them, Marianas Stars, is affiliated with the U.S. territory’s sole casino, Tinian Dynasty, which will be competing with the Saipan location for the customers both hope to draw from mainland China.

Hong Kong-based Best Sunshine International, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Natural Foods Holdings, has not been incorporated in the CNMI nor has it applied for a business license.