The first of six auctions to sell off gaming equipment owned by Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has been postponed for one month following an offer from IPI to the creditor.
The auction had been due to take place today, Tuesday 30 November, after Clear Management Ltd, a company headed by Silver Heritage Group co-founder Tim Shepherd, was appointed as receiver in October. IPI was ordered at the time to repay US$2.1 million to USA Fanter Corporation for construction work at IPI’s Saipan hotel and casino, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, in 2019. Legal action was launched in January 2020 after IPI failed to pay.
IAG was informed late Monday that the auction is currently on hold with IPI having offered to place around US$2 million into an escrow account pending judgement of the resolution’s suitability. If approved, it would effectively terminate the limited receivership.
Clear Management had been planning to run one auction per month for six months from today, having taken remote bids on IPI’s gaming equipment for the past two weeks.
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 CCC following a series of complaints for failure to comply with certain requirements under its license agreement.
The complaints, filed by CCC Executive Director Andrew Yeom, relate 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, which is ongoing.
However, the company is currently at risk of having its license revoked altogether, potentially leaving it with a substantial integrated resort development it can neither complete nor effectively utilise.