CCC chair raises doubts over IPI request to finish Garapan casino resort

IPI had requested a five-year extension to finish the construction of a new casino in Garapan.
IPI had requested a five-year extension to finish the construction of a new casino in Garapan.

Edward DeLeon Guerrero, Commonwealth Casino Commission board chair, questions why IPI has submitted a request for a five-year extension to finish its Garapan casino development.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Commonwealth Casino Commission Chairman Edward C. DeLeon Guerrero has questioned IPI’s request for another five years to complete its Garapan resort as the company hasn’t provided information on how it will finish the project and where it will get the money from.

IPI had requested a five-year extension to finish the construction of a new casino in Garapan. However, DeLeon Guerrero asked Tao Xing, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs at IPI, how the Lottery Commission could make a decision if the company doesn’t know how much it would cost and where it will get the money.

He pointed out IPI had failed to complete the project by February 2021, as required by its licensing agreement.

DeLeon Guerrero said: “You, IPI, should have an idea as to how much it costs to finish the project.”

Xing said the company does not have details on whether it had identified a source of funding for the extension because it only has a skeleton team to maintain operations. He said the project could cost between US$50m to US$250m to finish. 

He said it could take about six months to raise the money and verify the information before submitting details to the Lottery Commission. Xing also said the company is waiting to see what kind of information or materials the lottery commission needs.

He said: “It’s really tied to our marketing strategy going forward. Given the whole…market dynamic changes, we’ll probably have to reevaluate what’s the target market for us, that will come down to how we’re going to finish the interior.”

Once the approval for the extension is received, Xing said the company may have to bring people from the US or China to complete the estimate.

While reporting its financial results for the year ended December 31, IPI said it has also spoken to key creditors seeking to extend the maturity date on its debt to 2024 and beyond. It is also exploring the possibility of paying off bond-related debt by issuing new shares. 

IPI’s payment delays will “complicate matters”, says CCC director

CCC executive director Andrew Yeom has commented on Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) problems meeting its payment obligations. According to Yeom, there were delays in payment to IPI employees for the February 7 to 20; February 21 to March 6; and March 7 to 20 pay periods.

In February, IPI notified its remaining 40 employees that their payroll was going to be delayed until further notice due to financial problems. Regulators will hold a series of meetings to decide the fate of the company’s monopoly casino licence.

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Commonwealth Casino Commission Imperial Pacific