The proposal to split the payment of its casino fee for 2020 has been rejected by the Commonwealth Lottery Commission.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has been granted a six-month deferral on the US$20 million debt it holds with the islands’ community benefit fund.
The Commonwealth Lottery Commission (CLC) has meanwhile ruled out IPI’s proposal to pay its US$15.5 million casino licence fee for 2020 in two instalments, one this year and another in 2021.
At a meeting held at the Office of the governor this Thurday, CLC chair Mark Rabauliman said IPI made nine requests, but that they were all mostly covered by law or needed legislative treatment, except for that regarding its debt with the community fund.
Commissioners David DLG Atalig and Robert Guerrero agreed to only consider a postponement of the US$20 million payment due this month, and granted an extra six months due to “force majeure”.
Rabauliman said he is hoping that IPI will use this extension to start paying off its debt to the community fund, so that the suffering of some can be relieved with the funds, Saipan Tribune reported.
IPI was due to pay its US$15.5 million licence fee on August 12. The operator said this week it was willing to pay US$7.75 million in 10 days’ time and the remaining US$7.75 million in February 2021.
It would then pay next year’s fee, for the seventh year of its casino licence agreement, with US$7.75 million on August 12, 2021, and the remainder in the second half of the year.
The firm has also requested the commission reduce its US$$3 million regulatory fee to US$1 million, arguing that without gaming operations it requires less oversight.
Neither of the proposals were considered by the commission.