Saipan casino struggles after typhoon

Saipan casino struggles after typhoon
The Saipan casino has seen a heavy drop on tourism ever since the typhoon.

Super typhoon Yutu hit the Pacific islands and Saipan’s IPI casino continues to struggle to recover from the impact.

Northern Mariana Islands.- After super typhoon Yutu hit the Pacific islands, local population got severely hurt. Imperial Pacific International’s (IPI) Saipan casino has been struggling ever since as tourism dropped.

The venue had opened as a temporary facility in 2015 and pushed local economy ever since. It contributed to around 60% of government revenues through taxes and operating fees. Revenue from high roller gamblers from China is the primary money source, but the typhoon has lured them away.

However, government officials say IPI is behind on monthly tax payments and, according to the company, tax revenues dropped 70%.

More problems for IPI

The controversial development of Imperial Pacific International in Saipan has added yet another chapter to its turbulent history as the Hong Kong-listed company is facing a lawsuit in the Northern Mariana Islands. Workers have sued the developer over alleged forced labour and human trafficking in the island.

Seven Chinese workers for the company filed the lawsuit with the Federal Court in Saipan and are seeking monetary compensation for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. 

In the filing, workers said: “One Gold Mantis supervisor, who had already physically beaten another employee, threatened to kill plaintiffs if they disobeyed him.”

The Saipan Casino Control Commission recently agreed with Imperial Pacific International to extend its integrated resort (IR) completion deadline until February 28, 2021. The IR was expected to be completed by August 31, 2018, but IPI said it would miss the deadline due to “the drastic reduction and non-availability of sufficient skilled and qualified construction labourers locally in Saipan and mainland USA.”

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