IPI seeks cuts to license fee

Imperial Pacific International is seeking to halve its casino license fee for Saipan due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a media report.

The company has also asked for amendments including the extension of a deadline to complete the construction of its resort from next February to 2022. It has also asked for contributions to a community benefit fund to be changed to a percentage of profit, rather than a flat fee.

The report was carried by RNZ, without citing sources.

Under the Casino Licence Agreement, Imperial Pacific International is required to pay US$15 million as an annual casino licence fee and contribute US$20 million a year towards the community benefit fund.

The cash-strapped company had been struggling to complete its project even before the Covid-19 crisis and also faces a lawsuit from a former contractor that has added to its cashflow issues. The company is appealing that suit.