IPI interested in online gaming

Imperial Pacific International would be interested in online gaming in Saipan if the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands passes a bill to legalize the practice, local media reports.

IPI CEO Mark Brown was asked his views on internet gaming during a public hearing on the proposed bill in the House of Representatives and said his company “is very much in favour of online gaming,” Marianas Variety reported.

Proponents of the bill suggest it would help to generate revenue for the islands and reduce dependence on tourism.

However, Commonwealth Casino Commission Executive Director Edward Guerrero has asked the House Committee on Gaming to examine how the U.S. Wire Act may apply, saying if federal restrictions apply, the CNMI could not expect any players from outside of the commonwealth.

This would have a significant impact on revenue expectations.

He also said the committee needs to make clear in the language of the bill if the intention is to allow an exclusive casino license holder to operate online gaming, which in this case would be IPI.

Guerrero said if the U.S. Wire Act does not apply here, “my understanding, based on my discussion with the chairman of IPI, the company is ready and willing to do this. It will require some investment on their part and considerable investment on our part looking at the regulations because there would probably be a new group of players involved,” he was reported as saying.