The Commonwealth Casino Commission of the CNMI has promised to seek all remedies available to chase payment of money owed by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC after the Saipan casino operator revealed this week it couldn’t meet the 12 August deadline for payment of its US$15.5 million annual license fee.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming, IPI CEO Donald Browne wrote to the CCC on 11 August requesting abatement of the license fee, citing inability to pay due to the impact of COVID-19.
In response, the regulatory body issued a statement late Thursday expressing its disappointment with IPI and outlining its intention to chase payment of all obligations under the Casino License Agreement.
“IPI needs to fulfill its obligations, not only to the people of the CNMI, but also to their employees, vendors and other parties who are contracted to work with their organization,” said CCC Chairman Edward DeLeon Guerrero.
“We are deeply disappointed in IPI’s decision to request an abatement of their annual license fee and casino regulatory fee.
“The CCC is continuing its enforcement and investigations of its recent Orders that encompass the entire range of any payables or contributions owed to public entities and is prepared to seek all remedies under the CNMI gaming laws and under the Casino License Agreement as they relate to IPI’s nonpayment and other non-compliance matters.”
The CCC’s statement also outlined specific regulatory powers it holds at its disposal, including the ability to discipline its casino, vendor or gaming employee licensees to encourage compliance.
“The discipline may include monetary sanctions, license suspension, or – at the very worst – license revocation,” the CCC said.
The CCC threatened to revoke IPI’s casino license as recently as June when it issued a two-week deadline for implementation of a variety of orders.