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Imperial Pacific International handed 30 days to repay $62 mln in owed casino license fees

Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has been given 30 days by the Commonwealth Casino Commission board to pay $62 million total in casino license fees it has owed to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for almost four years.

According to the Saipan Tribune, the notice was issued after a board meeting on Thursday, with IPI director, Howyo Chi, responding the company is working on a response to the notice.

The CNMI casino annual license fee is $15,5 million, with IPI owing the annual fees respective to 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, with the board considering the 30 days provided for the repayment as ‘reasonable’.

The CNMI Supreme Court has previously issued a ruling proclaiming that the Casino License Agreement excuses any default in IPI’s payment during a force majeure event, but not IPI’s obligation to pay.

IPI previoulsy claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic was the force majeure event that caused the company to close its casino.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Supreme Court confirmed the suspension of IPI’s exclusive casino license in August due to failures to pay its annual license fees since 2020.

Due to financial struggles, IPI is also facing various winding-up petitions in Hong Kong, as the company is Hong Kong-listed.

Trading in IPI shares on the Stock Exchange has been suspended with effect from April 1st, 2022.

A Beijing court also recently identified the IPI’s owner, Ji Xiaobo, as a mafia kingpin. A group of 15 investors associated with IPI has been convicted in China of operating a casino, illegally trespassing on residential property, collecting illegal debts, and transporting others to cross the border illegally

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.



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