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Jan 19, 2009

Ridding of Poker Machines a Hope?

Just occurred in my mind the book we read back in college called "Hope for the Flowers" when I contemplate and think about the island's future as a commoner.

As many of us are still optimistic about the CNMI, we couldn't help but observe and notice some that try to pull everyone down. Yet, we remain hopeful.

Hmmm...but talking about the title of this post. Does getting rid of poker machines answer the many financial questions befuddling the islands? I was able to talk to some business owners whose business depend direly now on the revenues collected from poker machine operations. They said they survive because of the poker machines.

Hence, questions in my mind. Would taking this industry off from the economic contributors list in the CNMI help the local government ease its financial troubles? Some of the community members express that the poker machines provide substantial revenue ($10M as reported earlier) for the local government that if taken out, where would the local government get that significant revenue.

How many poker machine establishment-related crimes have been reported since then? If the community is wary about the social impact of the business, what are the local government agencies doing to control those issues?

For many it is the answer, for some maybe otherwise....


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

So why not legalize prostitution and drug use? We could at least be making money off it.

Anonymous said...

Yep, clean it up, get the various mafia groups out of it and let the government mafia in....

SteeleOnSaipan said...

I'd be curious to here what types of businesses rely on poker outside of poker places themselves.

We have prostitutes mugging tourists in Garapan but nothing gets done because the pimp-daddys have connections.

We have Chinese auto chop-shops and oil dumpers who don't get shut down because the owners are apparently connected.

This little island has nearly a dozen, unmonitored and well-connected "recycling" centers and pawn shops.

Korean tour vans hammer the road at 70mph but don't get cited because it's tourism by golly and we can't further deter foreign investment!

So since a number of legislators are poker lords, what's the chance of this wonderful industry dying a quick death?

Anonymous said...

thats the problem with drugs and prostitution, the local government doesnt get anything out of it...

Class act said...

We could decriminalize Mary Jane. While some may laugh, imagine daily or weekly to start, flights to Amsterdam.

We should tell the feds we are in emergency and are going to ship to ports of origin and progressive communities that have decriminalized weed. If world travelers got a sample of Rota Red, Saipan Gold, Marianas Cyanide Weed, and Tinian Sens ., those travelers would not only hold us in "high" esteem, but they would clamor to vacation here with the rich and famous, and those wealthy bastards would surely want to buy (oh no, locals aren’t allowed to sell their land because the feds will not let them) a retirement home, and then who we could explain our tax laws so they could spend the rest of their lives here spending their 12.347 billion dollar estate.

Anonymous said...

Do the Koreans have permission from DPL and HPO to operate those monster trucks and ATV's around the Tapochau back roads? They are destroying the jungle up there. The noise is horrendous and I've heard some local residents starting to complain. Talk about lack of planning and unintended consequences.

Mary Jane said...

Why doesn't the government pave the freaking road. The NMI has already received federal funding for it but would rather steal a little than help or infrastructure alot.

Rick Jones said...


Jerry over at Oleia has said that the Cherry machines in his place are what kept the doors open. I'm sure there are other bars around in the same situation.

I wonder if the effort to rid the island of poker parlors except for casinos and large hotels is really an effort by the hotel owners to get what would amount to more or less a monopoly.

captain said...

This no different from any other "civilized" places. (certain restrictions apply in Nevada)other states that have sanctioned type of gambling, gambling is allowed in licensed casino's only etc. The neighborhood backroom gambling is unlawful. (although it exsits)Corner electronic game rooms are not allowed etc.
Guam got rid of these machine in the 80's and there was no detriment to their economy.
Just like cars and parts, area protected dealerships.

The machines in the bar are not supposed to be payout machines. What this is supposed to be about is the Poker parlors at every corner and the Govt employees (and other)at every opertunity dropping in. The other things is the kids left in the car or at home unattended while the parent(s) is in the Poker parlor.
Tinian and Rota are licensed for Casino gambling. Everybody should go there to gamble.

Marianas Pride said...

Poker. It's what's for dinner!

Lil' Hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g00$e said...

Crimes occurring at poker establishments are statistically insignificant. You are far more likely to be a victim of a violent offense, burglary, robbery or theft in your own home or a public school campus than in a poker joint. There have been periods when churches have been higher risk than poker establishments.

That doesn't mean that poker playing is a crime free activity. DPS follows the FBI model for criminal statistics, which focuses on locations and location types rather than underlying causes. It's impossible for responding officers to detect whether a domestic assault (for example) was actually caused by one or the other spouse blowing his/her paycheck at a poker joint, leaving the family in a financial lurch for the next couple of weeks.

It's also impossible to determine the percentage of burglaries, robberies and thefts are committed to fund poker playing. As Captain points out above though, there are a growing number of child neglect incidents involving minors left unattended while Mommy/Daddy are at the poker machines.

It would be interesting to see what the annual house take vs payout for Saipan poker joints, individually and averaged, is. It would also be interesting to see what the Guv'mints annual poker related revenues are.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Hey Rick,

I used to manage Oleai 11-12 years ago. Today, the place looks exactly the same, no improvements have been made, the food and drink menus are the same, I don't recall live entertainment of late and the ownership has been absentee for a decade now, with no one who has an interest in the business there on a day-to-day basis to socialize with the customers. Maybe that's why their Cherry Masters are so important.

Yeah, you have a point with the hotels since THC is now out of parlors and into hotels and also runs with the Gov's backing of SEDC's rec's to not issue anymore poker licenses.

Anonymous said...

but it keeps those businesses open...the fact remains....

Anonymous said...

Poker is good. Thanks to poker, you can buy a stolen laptop for $50 at the local pawn shops

bradinthesand said...

the poker-related crimes are much worse than the incidents that occur at the actual poker parlors.

domestic violence
trafficking stolen goods
and more...

-people spend their rent and mortgage money on poker machines.
-people spend their grocery money on poker machines.
-people spend their car payment money on poker machines.

there are so many negatives with regards to the poker machines but the money squandered is the worst.

poker fees, shmoker fees.

if all of the machines are banned, the money will still be in the economy.

the difference is that the poker money will be better spent by the poor people who would otherwise waste their hard-earned cash on video crack.

people who play video poker have a problem. people who own the machines are terrible for exploiting the poor and naive.

Anonymous said...

no brad, these poker money will go to bigger gambling establishments which will be the apparent consequence of this move....

bradinthesand said...

bigger gambling establishments where? if the hotels get the casinos they won't be letting people who fall short of the dress code in to play.

that will rule out most of the people playing poker in the first place.

another reason why most of the extremely poor folks won't be playing poker is because it will be out of the villages.

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