Saipan regulator urges IPI to step in

Saipan’s casino regulator is urging Imperial Pacific International to get involved in the recent fiasco involving illegal workers at IPI’s casino construction site, Marianas Variety reports.

During a board meeting on Wednesday at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, the commissioners told IPI legal counsel Charles McDonalds that the controversy was tarnishing the company’s reputation.

Commissioner Alvaro Santos told IPI to talk to their contractors who, he added, should be in compliance with the law.

“Talk to your contractors and subcontractors,” he said to McDonalds.

“Even if it’s the contractors that are being negligent, they will always implicate IPI and blame IPI, and that’s not good as it will hurt the reputation of the company and…the government…. Take action, and calm down those people. Tell the contractors to follow the provisions of the contract. You have to be concerned also because this is a tiny community.”

Last week, more than 50 Chinese construction workers gathered in a protest demanding to be paid their wages after MCC International Saipan, their employer, was charged for illegally hiring workers on tourist visas.

Santos said the recent debacle would tarnish the reputation of the island, and its chances at an increase in the CW (CNMI-Only Transitional Worker) cap.

“You should go out of your way to remind the contractors to comply with the law because the Chinese waiver might also be affected by this negative issue,” he said to McDonalds.

McDonalds said they’ve already had a meeting with the contractors who assured IPI that the workers will be paid and repatriated.

“We are very concerned about the actions of our contractors, and have asked them what’s going on with the concerns of the protesters. They assured us that their employees are getting paid and they are working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and [the Department of Labor] to address all the employees’ concerns and send them back home,” he said.

In related news, McDonalds noted the company is still looking to open the casino portion of Imperial Pacific’s resort soon.

When asked about progress, he said: “We don’t know the extent of any delay, but we are working on extending the license agreement and that’s our plan right now.”

He added they will meet the Lottery Commission on April 24 to discuss their request for an extension of their temporary casino facility in DFS Galleria, and they are also waiting for the approval of their permit by Department of Public Works in order to open the casino portion of the resort.

More news from this jurisdiction

Pacific IslandsWednesday, Nov 22, 2017

The Commonwealth Casino Commission is recommending to set the maximum fine imposed on Imperial Pacific International to $200,000.

Pacific IslandsMonday, Nov 20, 2017

The House of Representatives is looking at increasing the maximum fine that can be imposed on players, licensees, vendors and employees of Imperial Pacific International under a new bill, local media reports.

Pacific IslandsTuesday, Nov 07, 2017

Slot machines owner Sin Ho Nam and operator Dan Bin Choi LLC are suing the CNMI government over new zoning restrictions that have forced the company to relocate its slot machines.

Pacific IslandsTuesday, Oct 31, 2017

A “wind-up” petition has been filed against Imperial Pacific International over allegations that the company defaulted in paying construction management fees of approximately HK$2.6 million (US$333,284)

Pacific IslandsWednesday, Oct 25, 2017

Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International says it has invested over half-a-billion dollars into the CNMI local economy.

Pacific IslandsMonday, Sep 25, 2017

37 illegal workers who worked on Imperial Pacific’s casino and hotel have refused an offer to be paid and sent back home to China.

Pacific IslandsMonday, Sep 18, 2017

Imperial Pacific International says impairment of the group’s trade receivables in the six months ended June 30, 2017 amounted to HK$2.1 billion (US$268.7 million).