All gaming equipment owned by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC will be sold off after the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands this week granted a motion to appoint a limited receiver.
The judgement relates to around US$2.1 million owed to USA Fanter Corporation for construction work at IPI’s Saipan hotel and casino, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, in 2019 for which IPI failed to pay. Legal action was launched in January 2020.
Clear Management Ltd, a company headed by Silver Heritage Group co-founder Tim Shepherd, has been appointed as receiver “to administer, collect, or sell any casino gaming property in which [IPI] has an interest and to do any other acts to satisfy the judgment.”
Danny Ewing, Director of Operations of Clear Management, told Inside Asian Gaming that the process to sell IPI’s gaming equipment is already underway.
“It’s well known IPI invested heavily in top of the range gaming equipment across slot machines and electronic table games as well as gaming utilities, gaming chairs and tables which we expect to be of interest to buyers worldwide,” Ewing said.
“The process is commencing with an inventory check and to assess the condition of the equipment before the auction of the equipment commences, the first of which will be at the end of November.”
According to the judgement, Shepherd has previously valued IPI’s gaming machines at US$2.25 million.
Imperial Palace‧Saipan closed its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but IPI has since had its casino license suspended by the Commonwealth Casino Commission following a series of complaints for failure to comply with certain requirements under its license agreement.
The complaints related to IPI’s failure to pay its annual US$15.5 million license fee in August 2020, failure to pay its annual US$3.1 million regulatory fee in October 2020, failure to contribute US$20 million to the community benefit fund in both 2018 and 2019, failure to comply with its minimum US$2 billion capital requirement and failure to comply with a CCC order to pay all money owing to its vendors.
IPI was also given six months from April to repay both the US$15.5 million casino license fee and US$3.1 million regulatory fee, as well as a US$6.6 million fine, or risk having its license revoked.
The company has since filed an administrative request for the Superior Court in Saipan to conduct a judicial review into its license suspension. IPI confirmed this week that the judicial review is ongoing.
Imperial Palace‧Saipan has been shuttered since March 2020, initially due to COVID-19 but more recently because of its license suspension.