Commonwealth Casino Commission of Saipan issues final warning to Imperial Pacific International (IPI) to push for a timely payment of its annual licence
The Northern Mariana Islands is an autonomous state of the United States of America, located in a strategic location in the Western Pacific. It includes 15 islands with Saipan island as the capital. Saipan's economy had been sluggish for many years until the local government lifted the gambling ban in 2014. As Saipan is only a four-hour flight away from mainland China, the island began to attract numerous investments and gamblers from mainland China. For instance, it was reported that the performance of Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (IPI) Holdings had surpassed the largest casino in Macau.
However, recently the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) of Saipan reiterated its determination to defend the regulations and warned Imperial Pacific International Holdings that CCC will not give the casino operator a green light as the casino has fallen into a business crisis due to COVID-19.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings must consequently comply with federal government regulations.
The Chairman of CCC, Edward C. Deleon Guerrero, said that he will continue to ensure that all casino operators in Saipan must comply with relevant local and federal government regulations.
Last week, the Governor of Northern Mariana Islands Ralph Torres also formally issued a warning to Imperial Pacific International Holdings that if the annual franchise fee of $15.5 million is not paid quickly, its casino licence will be revoked. However, after a week, Imperial Pacific International Holdings remained indifferent.
Edward C. Deleon Guerrero once again expressed his hope that he would find the best solution for the gambling-related industries in Saipan and create a flourishing environment. But he also made it clear that this is not specifically to help any specific company or operator, nor should it provide any preferential terms. CCC has the right to terminate the operator's gambling cards at any time to recover the right to operate.
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