The majority owner of troubled Saipan casino, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, says she is still looking for an investor to help reopen the casino.
In an interview with Marianas Variety, Cui Lijie – who holds a personal 60.69% stake in the casino’s parent company Imperial Pacific International – said the company had previously attracted investor interest but that interest had waned due to “many bad news” that she blamed on the “bad decisions” of previous management. These were also compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent closure of the casino in April 2020 and the suspension of the company’s casino license in 2021 for failure to pay annual fees.
While the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) has since been pushing to have IPI’s license fully revoked, Cui told Marianas Variety that she wanted to “go back to the table” with regulators and “bring a new beginning” for Imperial Palace‧Saipan.
“All we want is to reopen the casino so we can start to contribute again to the CNMI economy,” she said, adding that IPI has spent more than US$20 million to settle various lawsuits brought against it be vendors and former staff.
As previously reported by IAG, the CCC had been seeking more than US$25 million in back payments from IPI, representing around a quarter of the US$100 million it currently owes.