[bsa_pro_ad_space id=1 link=same] [bsa_pro_ad_space id=2]

Skip to Content

Operator News

Northern Mariana Islands – Casino Commission vows to chase Imperial Pacific’s missing licence fee payment

By - 14 August 2020

The Commonwealth Casino Commission of the CNMI has vowed to leave no stone unturned in demanding payment of a US$15.5m annual license fee from Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) after it said it wouldn’t make the August 12 payment deadline.

Edward DeLeon Guerrero, Chairman of the CCC, stated: “IPI needs to fulfill its obligations, not only to the people of the CNMI, but also to their employees, vendors, and other parties who are contracted to work with their organisation. We are deeply disappointed in IPI’s decision to request an abatement of their annual license fee and casino regulatory fee. The CCC is continuing its enforcement and investigations of its recent Orders that encompass the entire range of any payables or contributions owed to public entities and prepared to seek all remedies under the CNMI gaming laws and under the Casino License Agreement as they relate to IPI’s nonpayment and other non-compliance matters.”

The Commonwealth Casino Commission seeks to ensure that CNMI casinos are operating with high integrity, that the games operate fairly to each patron and that the casino is following best practices. To meet those goals, there are robust controls on all functions of the casinos. The Commission may discipline its casino, vendor, or gaming employee licensees to encourage compliance. The discipline may include monetary sanctions, license suspension, or – at the very worst – license revocation.

Imperial CEO Donald Browne had asked for a postponement on the payment following the closure of the Imperial Pacific Resort in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Browne said: “We are now in August and IPI has had no income for the last five months. It does not appear that international flights will resume until January 2021. It does not seem likely that tourism to the CNMI will begin again until May 2021. In all likelihood IPI will remain closed, and have no income, for the next eight months. Pursuant to Section 25 of the Casino License Agreement and because of the worldwide pandemic, IPI respectfully requests an abatement of the casino license fee for the year of 2020.”

The Commission said it employs personnel who audit every part of the gaming operations including slots, table games, advertising and promotions, revenue accounting, security, and surveillance. As regulators of the CNMI’s casino, it said its mission is to hold the casino operator and employees accountable to the Commonwealth’s very high standards.

Share via
Copy link