Senate panel OKs bill to empower casino commission

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THE Senate Committee on Cannabis and Gaming on Monday endorsed the passage of House Bill 21-11, which would give the Commonwealth Casino Commission additional power in regulating the casino industry.

During a meeting in the Senate chamber, the committee chairman, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, informed officials of the casino commission that the bill has been amended.

The most significant change, he said, was the removal of the restriction on writing off tax obligations because a stand-alone bill, H.B. 21-62, which addresses this matter is on its way to the Senate.

Casino Commission Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero said he was glad that, finally, H.B. 21-11 was moving forward. But he did not want to comment on the Senate version of the bill because he has not read the amendments yet.

In an interview after the meeting, Sablan said the amendments that his committee proposed aim to find a middle ground and help the commission regulate the casino industry.

Authored by Vice Speaker Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero, H.B. 21-11 unanimously passed the House in December last year.

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