The Commonwealth Casino Commission has posted only $20,215 in revenue for fiscal year 2021.
Northern Mariana Islands.- The Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) has reported its revenue for the fiscal year 2021 was only $20,215. Andrew Yeom, the regulator’s executive director told commission chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero revenue was limited due to IPI’s failure to pay its annual casino regulatory fee of $3.15m, which was due on Oct. 1, 2020.
A week ago, Yeom filed a fifth complaint against Imperial Pacific International, seeking to revoke the operator’s exclusive casino licence after it failed to pay this year’s annual regulatory fees of US$3m. The CCC board gave IPI until November 15, to answer Yeom’s complaints, all of which call for the immediate cancellation of IPI’s exclusive casino licence.
The committee also reported that the US$3m regulatory fund raised for 2019 has been used up. The revenue of $20,215 is what was left from the US$106,500 in “other regulatory expenses” for the fiscal year 2020.
The regulator also reported that it must pay $120,000 in rent this year for the construction of a two-story office at Spring Plaza in Gualo Rai; and that it needs $70,287 for “operating expenses”; $322,234 for board compensation; and $1.4m in wages and benefits.
At the committee meeting last week, Yeom reported that with the resignation of compliance manager Leonard Leon on November 5, 2021, their number of employees has dropped from more than 50 to 10 in the past.
According to Mariana’s Variety, Deleon Guerrero and Yeom also stated that in the 2021 fiscal year, “there was minimal issuance of licences for casino employees, key employees, service providers and vendors.”
CNMI could allow 5 casino licences on Saipan through a new bill
Ralph N. Yumul, house floor leader, has introduced a bill to allow five casino licences in Saipan. According to Yumul, as IPI has not been able to pay taxes and its US$15m exclusive licence fee, the island needs more than one operator.
He said: “Tying the fate of the retirees’ pension to one single industry was risky, it was even more dangerous to tie the funding for the retirees’ pension to an exclusive licensee.”