IPI clarifies views on “exclusivity”

Imperial Pacific International has clarified that it wants exclusive rights to all gaming activities on the island of Saipan and is prepared to defend its position as the sole license holder.

The company was responding to an article in the Saipan Tribune citing IPI attorney Michael Dotts as saying that IPI’s inability to pay its $15.5 million annual license fee could be an opportunity for the government to further open the market in return for a reduction in the levy.

“That is not the case,” IPI was reported by local media as saying, adding that it appeals to the government to consolidate all gaming activity under one regulatory framework as promised. It says “true exclusivity” should be the basis for the framework.

Under the Casino License Agreement, IPI is required to pay US$15 million as an annual casino license fee and contribute US$20 million a year towards the community benefit fund, but has been unable to meet these obligations.

The company is facing a mounting series of financial and legal woes, including a court battle with a former contractor. It has requested permission to either seek other investors or to sell the property.