IPI casino licence fee available for appropriation

 IPI’s gaming licence could be permanently revoked.
IPI’s gaming licence could be permanently revoked.

Governor Ralph DLG Torres has said that the remaining US$8m from IPI’s annual exclusive casino licence fee for its sixth year is now available for appropriation.

Northern Mariana Islands.- In a letter sent to the Legislature, Governor Ralph DLG Torres has stated that the remaining US$8m of the US$15m annual licence fee that Imperial International paid before the Covid-19 pandemic is now available.

Of the amount now available for appropriation, Torres said U$6m will be for Saipan, US$1m will be for Tinian and US$1mwill be for Rota. 

Torres stated: “I hope that these funds will be used for the purposes of enhancing the missions and goals of Northern Marianas College as part of our Commonwealth’s efforts to build our local workforce.”

IPI has seen its gaming licence suspended indefinitely after it failed to comply with regulatory orders. The company violated five orders including a failure to pay its US$3.1m annual regulatory fee in 2020 and failure to comply with an order to settle debts with vendors.

IPI’s CEO hopes the CCC will not revoke its gaming licence

Ray N. Yumul has responded to CCC executive director Andrew Yeom‘s call for IPI’s gaming licence to be permanently revoked. He says the casino operator is willing to waive its exclusivity to keep the licence.

In February, the Northern Mariana Islands legislature introduced a bill to authorise a new casino licence in the event that IPI’s licence is finally revoked. Yumul noted that if the Commonwealth Casino Commission revokes its licence, IPI will only be left with hotels and will no longer pay its annual US$15m obligation to the CNMI government.

He said IPI is handling litigation but does not want to give up its responsibility and that he hoped Andrew Yeom will postpone the filing of his complaint while IPI continues to discuss alternative solutions with the government and legislature. 

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