Imperial Pacific to abide by license agreement

Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International says it will continue to abide by the conditions of its license agreement in regards to imported labor, local media reports. 

In a statement to local media, the company said: “[IPI] would continue to follow and meet what is required based on the exclusive casino license agreement. Currently the import labor is at 45 percent.”

The operator also said that gaming is the only division of the company where a large number of employees are foreigners.

Earlier this month, IPI asked the US government to ease the visa cap for overseas workers in order to support its future casino.

Mark Brown, chief executive of Imperial Pacific in an interview with EJ Insight, said the cap of 12,999 workers for the transitional commonwealth-only worker-1 (or CW-1) program was reached in May this year. They are now trying to have that lifted to 18,000.

Brown said his firm hired many contract workers from the Philippines as they were more experienced in Macau-style VIP gaming than those from Las Vegas.

IPI added that more locals would be hired in non-gaming divisions, and is aiming to open the first phase of its casino resort on January 28, 2017.

“We are going to submit the annual plan for workforce employment before November 2016 as required by casino license agreement,” added the company.

During its board meeting last week, the Commonwealth Casino Commission asked IPI officials to submit a quarterly report on its workforce operations and encouraged them to train and hire more local or U.S. citizens as employees.

IPI vice president for human resources Bertha Leon Guerrero has assured CCC board members that they continue to exert effort in trying to lure U.S. citizens, especially those who are studying or currently based in the mainland.