After reaching an agreement with the Commonwealth Casino Commission in Saipan two weeks ago, Imperial Palace Saipan has announced new funding options and a tentative date to open the hotel and casino again.
At one time, prior to opening the current location, the tables at its temporary satellite casino were the most lucrative in the world, outperforming even the richest VIP rooms in Macau manifold.
Financing and other problems plagued the operating company even before the world health emergency of 2020, but the pandemic drove it from the brink into the abyss.
Or so it seemed.
Casino, Hotel, Villas, Shopping Mall
On Monday, Marianas Variety, a major news outlet in Micronesia, brought attention to a filing made by Imperial Pacific International Holdings (IPI) Executive Director Xu Zhongxiang late the previous week.
The announcement stated that IPI had signed an agreement with independent companies to finish construction of the complex, lease out 15 villas and 250 hotel rooms, and operate a 1,000 sqm shopping mall on the premises.
The Hong Kong-based firm revealed it had received a credit facility offer of US$100,000,000 (HK$777m) from an independent financial institution with the offer valid until September 27, 2023. According to the announcement: “As at the date of this announcement, no drawn down has been made.”
Sino Travel Samoa Limited agreed to underwrite a lease on 15 villas and 250 hotel rooms for four years after IPI gets approval and licenses from the government of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
IPI also stated: “Operation of the casino portion of Imperial Palace‧Saipan has been suspended since 17 March 2020 to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 and subsequently the casino resort developer license has been temporarily suspended by [the Commonwealth Casino Commission]
on 23 April 2021 pending the settlement of certain outstanding fees associated with the license
Target Date to Open
On Friday in an FY21 financial result filing, IPI announced further give and take on a settlement agreement with the local casino regulator, the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC). The government body was created solely to oversee IPI (then Best Sunshine International) and it relies almost exclusively on revenues from the casino.
IPI stated on Friday it is in the process of finalizing the settlement terms through a settlement agreement with the CCC.
“The Agreement is expected to be signed by the end of June 2022 and IPI is actively planning, under CCC’s guidance, for reopening by November 2022.”
According to a report yesterday on the Inside Asian Gaming website, IPI also stated it had engaged, “major global construction companies, consulting firms, design, and engineering firms as well as local sub-contractors.”
According to the company, IPI has invested US$914 million in development as of December 31, 2021.
IPI also stated: “Once the travel restrictions in Saipan are lifted, the casino in Imperial Palace Saipan shall resume operations and be opened to public.
“We expect the successional opening of villas and hotel rooms of Imperial Palace Saipan, subject to the lifting of the global travel restrictions, will enhance our capacity to welcome visitors to Saipan.”
Source: IPI signs agreement to complete casino-hotel, operate shopping mall, Marianas Variety, June 27, 2022