A second auction of gaming equipment owned by embattled Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC will take place this Friday 9 December with the focus shifting to larger equipment.
According to Tim Shepherd of receiver Clear Management Ltd, the auction will include the sale of gaming tables, chairs and slot machine stools, while there are also 50 of Aristocrat’s Helix slot machines available – all in full working order and with Asian games installed.
The first auction, held in October, saw US$410,000 worth of equipment sold – mostly card shufflers and chip sorters with the successful bidders from South Korea, Australia, South America and Europe
“We have already received bids in for Auction 2 and since we added slot machines and a bigger variety of equipment, many more interested parties contacting us from across the world,” Shepherd told IAG.
“Bidders understand that IPI only bought world class equipment and even though it’s been in storage, the casino management team maintained it professionally before the casino closed.
“As a result the majority of equipment powers up with little or no issues beyond requiring a good clean. Likewise the gaming tables, chairs and other furniture are in good shape.”
Shepherd explained that he planned to hold at least two more auctions in early 2023 following an order from the court to maximize revenues in order to pay some of IPI’s creditors – currently owed around US$24 million.
IPI has tried to stop the auctions, arguing recently that it would be unable to reopen its casino – shuttered since March 2020 – in quick time if its gaming equipment was sold.
Shepherd said suspected most leading suppliers would be able to provide new equipment at short notice if required but noted IPI’s casino, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, was likely in no shape to resume operations in the short term.
“The state of the casino/hotel building itself … we think [it] requires a fair amount of work to be ready to accept customers,” he said.
IPI is currently in mediation with the local Casino Control Commission to have its current casino license suspension lifted and prevent the regulator from revoking its license altogether.