The CNMI’s Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) is planning to hold hearings in March at which a decision will be made on whether to revoke the exclusive casino license held by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) in Saipan.
CCC Executive Director Andrew Yeom revealed the plan during a recent meeting with the embattled casino operator, which has failed to fulfil five enforcement actions issued last year.
“We are going to set hearing dates for those and we’re thinking by the end of March,” Yeom said, noting that exact dates are yet to be determined. “We are consolidating the five enforcement actions and will seek the revocation of IPI’s license.”
It was Yeom who originally filed five complaints against IPI in April 2021 for failure to comply with certain requirements under its license agreement.
Those five complaints specifically 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’s license was suspended in May and the company given six months to pay 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.
Having failed to do so, Yeom is now ready to pull IPI’s license permanently although IPI CEO Ray Yumul has threatened to open up on past dealings with local officials should such a scenario eventuate.
“I will be demanding the CCC investigate the political influence exerted by some local politicians to coerce IPI to enter sweetheart contracts, land leases and contributions,” he told The Guam Daily Post.