CNMI gaming regulator orders indefinite suspension of IPIs casino license

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The Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) of the Northern Mariana Islands has ordered the indefinite suspension of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLCs casino license.

The order, granted Thursday but expected to take effect from 10 May, follows five complaints filed recently by executive director Andrew Yeom against IPI for failure to comply with certain requirements under its license agreement.

Those five complaints specifically relate to IPIs failure to pay its annual US$15.5 million license fee last August, failure to pay its annual US$3.1 million regulatory fee in October, failure to contribute US$20 million to the community benefit fund in both 2018 and 2019, failure to comply with its minimum US$2 billion capital requirement and failure to comply with a CCC order to pay all money owing to its vendors.

Under Thursdays order, IPI has six months to repay both the US$15.5 million casino license fee and US$3.1 million regulatory fee, as well as a US$6.6 million fine, or risk having its license revoked.

We are suspending the license indefinitely until IPI complies with those orders, said CCC chair Edward DeLeon Guerrero.

According to the Saipan Tribune, DeLeon Guerrero expressed concerns over IPIs apparent inability to fulfil its promised US$2 billion, including the provision of 2,000 hotel rooms at its embattled IR development,Imperial Palace Saipan. The property has been closed since March due to COVID-19, with IPI recently announcing a US$367 million loss for FY2020.

IPI only recently avoided being placed into receivership after reaching an agreement with the US Department of Labor over wages owed to workers.