Embattled Saipan casino investor Imperial Pacific International has reported a loss of HK$2.85 billion (US$367 million) for the year ended 31 December 2020, impacted by the closure of Imperial Palace • Saipan since March.
The absence of gaming operations through much of 2020 saw IPI’s revenue plummet 95.1% to just HK$26.5 million (US$3.4 million), with the company’s once substantial VIP segment seeing rolling chip volume fall from HK$14.02 billion in 2019 to HK$846 million. Mass drop fell from HK$648 million to HK$110 million.
Confirmation of IPI’s 2020 results comes less than a week after it narrowly avoided being placed into receivership by the US District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands by reaching an agreement with the US Department of Labor to pay all money owed to its workers.
The court had previously named a receiver and outlined a raft of powers to take possession and sell off IPI’s assets if it was unable to comply with a consent judgement.
Despite ongoing concerns over its financial state, IPI said in its 2020 results announcement that it fully intends to reopen of Imperial Palace • Saipan once the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
“Throughout the recovery process our Group remains committed to our mission of enhancing the tourism of Saipan and creating local opportunities,” IPI said.
“Despite the current impact from the COVID-19, we believe visitation to the Island of Saipan still has great potential in the long run benefiting from the island’s favorable weather, stunning attractions, [proximate] location and flexible visa policies, with more hotels to be built and opened.
“Once the travel restrictions in Saipan are lifted, the casino in Imperial Palace • Saipan shall resume operations and be opened to public. We expect the successional opening of villas and hotel rooms of Imperial Palace • Saipan, subject to the lifting of the global travel restrictions, will enhance our capacity to welcome visitors to Saipan.”