The regulator filed an opposition to IPI’s preliminary injunction request after failing to reach an agreement with the operator.
Northern Mariana Islands.- The chances of an agreement between Imperial Pacific International and the Commonwealth Casino Commission seem to be in doubt again. Due to continuous delays, the CCC has now filed an opposition to IPI’s motion for a preliminary injunction that prevented it from revoking IPI’s casino licence.
According to CCC attorneys, the basis of IPI’s initial motion is that Section 30 of the Casino Licence Agreement (CLA) requires arbitration, or an alternate resolution outside court, for its force majeure defence.
IPI claims that it was unable to meet its financial obligations under the CLA as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and Super Typhoon Yutu, which negatively impacted its business. However, attorneys for the CCC have argued that IPI’s motion should be dismissed because the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the four factors required for this special relief: the likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable damages, hardship damages and advancement of the public interest.
The motion reads: “The injunction plaintiffs seek would cause significant harm to the defendant as the resulting delay would hinder its funding, thereby crippling its ability to regulate and grow the casino industry in the Commonwealth and would harm the Commonwealth for the same reasons. For all these reasons, the CCC respectfully requests that the preliminary injunction be denied.”
IPI filed its motion for preliminary injunction eight months after CCC executive director Andrew Yeom filed five enforcement actions against it and over a year after the commission suspended IPI’s licence after two evidentiary hearings.