The casino regulatory body of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC), has issued a complaint against Imperial Pacific International for failing to pay its US$15 million annual license fee.
Despite being informed by IPI last week that it had paid the fee, due on 12 August 2019, by wire transfer, the CCC has since discovered the company paid only US$5 million.
IPI must also pay another US$502,570 based on a Consumer Price Index adjustment, leaving a total of US$10,502,570 still unpaid.
“We have issued a complaint today that is going to the Commission,” said CCC Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero, the man who filed the complaint, according to Marianas Variety. “That is the way we’re going to enforce this. Now IPI has 15 calendar days to cure the deficiency.”
Deleon Guerrero said the CCC has the power to enforce an additional US$50,000 fine for each day after 12 August that the full amount due isn’t paid.
IPI’s failure to pay its license fee comes after recent reports that the company has paid just US$41,000 in Business Gross Revenue Tax since 1 July 2018. IPI has since suggested it should be allowed to use tax credits earned in recent years in lieu of paying more taxes this year so it can conserve funds for the completion of its Saipan integrated resort, Imperial Palace‧Saipan.
It has also been alleged that IPI owes US$73 million in taxes and debts to vendors – a figure that has seen the company and the CCC embroiled in a court battle over the public release of its financial statements.
IPI issued a profit warning earlier this month stating that it expects to record a net loss for the six months to 30 June 2019.