CNMI Suspends Imperial Pacific Casino Licenses And Imposes $25m Fine
Hong Kong based Imperial Pacific International Holdings was expected to transform the island of Saipan which is based in the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands which is a part of the United States.
Imperial Pacific committed to building a multi-million dollar casino resort called Imperial Palace Saipan that was expected to create thousands of temporary and part time jobs, increase tourism numbers and boost the overall economy of Saipan.
Imperial Pacific has been unable to complete its multi-million dollar Imperial Palace Saipan casino based on the promised deadline it agreed to. There have been multiple reasons for this delay most of which have to deal with the internal problems that the Imperial Pacific Holdings has faced.
The company has faced multiple issues ranging from money laundering allegations, to visa violations for its overseas workers and financial troubles. The Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) had given Imperial Pacific multiple breaks during the last few years for the casino operator to get its act together and complete this important project.
The ruling government received a lot of criticism from the opposing party and anti-gambling opponents for turning a blind eye towards Imperial Pacific’s failings and multiple commitment breaches.
It appears that the CCC has finally had enough of Imperial Pacific as the commission has decided to impose a $25 million fine on the operator and suspend its license. This was made public through a filing made by the operator with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). The filing showed that Imperial Pacific needs to pay a fine of $6.6 million and another $18.6 million in outstanding fees.
The $18.6 million fine has to be remitted immediately while the $6.6 million fine needs to be settled within a 6 month period.
License Suspension Can Be Lifted
The CCC has temporarily suspended the casino license for Imperial Pacific Holdings. Once the fines are paid, the CCC can lift the license suspension. Local media have also confirmed that the CCC has also suspended all junket operator licenses to the casino as well.
There is no indication as of now whether Imperial Pacific Holdings will remit the fines based on the deadlines or put in an appeal and request for more time. The casino shut its doors on 17 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has so far not reopened for business.