The Northern Mariana Islands is one of the five insular areas of the United States of America. Alongside Puerto Rico, the Norther Mariana Islands has a “commonwealth” status. The territory consists of 15 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. According to a 2015 estimate, the Northern Mariana Islands has a population of 52,344. The territory is self-governing but falls under the jurisdiction of the US.
Gambling is legal as long as the proper licences are acquired by the providers. Because it’s a self-governing territory, CNMI’s government decides who gets a gambling licence. Of course, the federal gambling laws of the US still apply. The Northern Mariana Islands share the president with the US (Barack Obama as of now) and the federal funds are administered by the Office of Insular Affairs of the US Department of the Interior.
Over the history of the US, many gambling related laws were issued. The most notable ones are the Wire Act of 1961, which made any sport related interstate betting illegal, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which outlawed financial transactions involving online gambling service providers (using credit cards). Because of this act, many online casinos decided that they won’t accept US players anymore. However, players can bypass this inconvenience by simply not using credit cards (you can use digital wallets, there are plenty) or paying with Bitcoins.
The land-based casino business is booming in the Northern Mariana Islands (tourists from cruise ships mostly, cruise ships with casinos on board can also keep their casino open). There are 2 operating casinos located on the islands called the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino and the Imperial Pacific Casino. Thanks to a 7 billion dollars investment, there is going to be a new casino in Saipan (the second largest island in the Mariana Islands archipelago), opening in 2016. The casinos in the Northern Mariana Islands are commercial and operated by private companies.
If you like the article, give it a +1!
- Casino gambling in Northern Mariana Islands
- Bingo in Northern Mariana Islands
- Poker in Northern Mariana Islands
- Sports betting in Northern Mariana Islands
- Lottery in Northern Mariana Islands
- Bitcoin gambling in Northern Mariana Islands
Casino gambling in Northern Mariana Islands
Online casino gambling in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Land-based casinos are legal in Northern Mariana Islands as long as the owners have the necessary licences and pay the taxes. Licences are issued by the Northern Mariana Islands’ government. The CNMI currently has 2 casinos operating in its territory, but there is an other one in the development phase. Cruise ships are also allowed to have their casinos open during their stay.
Online gambling is legal, it is still a grey area (in most states of America the online gambling is forbidden). But due to federal US laws and the small size of the online gambling market, there are only a few online casinos, which accept players from the islands.
The following online casinos accept players from the Northern Mariana Islands:
Bingo in Northern Mariana Islands
Online bingo in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Bingo is one of the most popular games in the US and well-known worldwide. Unfortunately, the 2 operating casinos (the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino and the Imperial Pacific Casino) in the Northern Mariana Islands does not organize bingo games according to their website. According to worldcasinodirectoy.com, a new casino will open in the Northern Mariana Islands called Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort. The opening day is set on 2016 December 1st.* There are rumors, that this will be the first casinos to have bingo on the islands. Cruise ships can also organize bingo games for their passenger (but not for locals) during their stay.
The following online bingo websites accept players from the Norther Marina Islands:
There are currently none.
Poker in Northern Mariana Islands
Online poker in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Poker is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) casino game in the world. Many would consider poker as a game of skill, observation, and strategy. The 2 licenced casinos in the CNMI has poker tables featuring pacific poker, texas hold ’em poker, and classic draw poker based video poker machines. Probably the new casino in development will have poker tables too, but we’ll see.
Because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, all online poker providing activity is illegal but as of now there was only one case where this law were enforced. In 2009, $34 million belonging to over 27,000 accounts were seized by the US Department of Justice. No players were prosecuted, though.*
The following online poker sites accept players from the Norther Mariana Islands:
Sports betting in Northern Mariana Islands
Online sports betting in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Sports betting is illegal in most of the states in the US and it is no different in the Northern Mariana Islands. Sports are popular in the islands, especially baseball (due to the US influence). The Northern Mariana Islands has a mixed martial arts brand too, called Trench Wars. The CNMI’s most famous fighter is Frank “The Crank” Camacho, who fought in the UFC back in 2012.
Like in other states of the US, The online sports betting is forbidden too in the Northern Mariana Islands because of the US Wire Act of 1961.
However, there is one offshore online sportsbook, which still accept players from the Northern Mariana Islands (it has a gambling license, which allows US players, this will probably change in the near future, but for now they accept players from the islands):
Lottery in Northern Mariana Islands
Online lottery in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
The lottery is the most common form of gambling in the world. Almost every country has an annual lottery where gambling is legal or controlled by the state. The first lottery in the US was established in Puerto Rico in 1934. Nowadays lotteries are established in 44 states and in a couple other territories like the Northern Mariana Islands. The Northern Mariana Islands is a self-governing territory and organizes its annual lotto events itself. Residents can also take part in other US lotteries and international lotteries as well.
Bitcoin gambling in Northern Mariana Islands
Bitcoin gambling in Northern Mariana Islands: illegal, players are not prosecuted
Bitcoin is a so-called “cryptocurrency” invented by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008. It gained popularity worldwide in the following years. Some countries see Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency, but that’s not the case in the US. Bitcoin trades occur on a digital platform (like the internet) hence the nature of the currency. There are no specific regulations for Bitcoin gambling as of now in the Northern Mariana Islands. All federal US gambling laws apply to Bitcoin as well (see the court ruling in case of the Seals with Clubs Bitcoin poker website).
The following Bitcoin casino accepts players from the Northern Mariana Islands:
If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country.
If you like the article, give it a +1!
Last updated: 2016-02-09