Imperial Pacific VIP rolling slumps 14.5 percent in Feb

Imperial Pacific International Holdings saw its VIP table games rolling chip turnover slump 14.5 percent year-on-year to US$1.7 billion, according to the company’s filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

VIP table games rolling for February was down nearly 70.2 percent sequentually from US$5.6 billion in January.

The Saipan casino operator is set to hold a soft opening of the casino and gaming facilities of its Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel next month.

Last month, the company requested to extend the license of its temporary casino at T-Galleria in order to buy more time for the construction of its new integrated resort, according to Marianas Variety.

In his letter to the governor, Brown has requested an extension of their temporary casino operations from April 30, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2017 in order to “complete the construction and initiate operations of the gaming facility.”

Brown said the request was due to extensive damage to the construction site and office during Typhoon Saudelor; a limited supply of cement; unpredictable ground conditions; drainage issues; air-rights agreement for tower cranes; inclement weather; lack of readily available skilled laborers; the length of time it took to execute the public land lease for the Garapan property; and the expiration of the Mariana Resort lease.

Last week, Rep. Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero noted that certain considerations could be made to grant  Imperial Pacific International an extension for its deadlines.

“We know that when they were starting construction, Saipan was hit by Typhoon Soudelor. All of us know how long it took the island to get back to its feet,” he said, quoted by the Saipan Tribune.

“I think there should be some sort of consideration made for that. Secondly, I think there were some issues with regards to leasing the public land over there. The negotiations took awhile and I don’t think the applicant should be penalized when there could have been delays on the government’s part to approve the lease agreement,” Deleon Guerrero said. “We’ve seen they’ve been acting in good faith and there were circumstances that were beyond their control. I think that is something to consider.

“If it means a couple of months to grant an extension of the deadline in the license agreement, I think that kind of consideration can be made. They’ve been working round-the-clock. I rather see that we extend the deadline and allow them to finish,” he added.

Guerrero however stressed the importance of safety for their patrons once they begin their casino operations, which is said to start next month.

“At least finish it to the point where safety is a top priority. The patrons or customers would not be affected not just by the noise, but they’ll be safe while construction is going on. Make sure there would be no falling debris,” said Guerrero.

“In a way it makes more sense to extend the deadline. Allow them to finish the project, at least the lower level is complete, then continue the work in the upper floors. That kind of concession is reasonable.”

The decision on the extension will be made by the Office of the Attorney General.