The Best Sunshine Live Casino located in Saipan which is a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has been open for just over a year and has already contributed a significant amount of revenue in the form of gaming taxes to the CNMI government. Hong Kong based Imperial Pacific proposed to invest $7 billion to develop an integrated casino resort on Saipan and the Best Sunshine Live casino is just the first phase of the project.
The casino initially opened a training facility and temporary with 45 gaming tables in July 2015 at the T-Galleria on Beach Road in Garapan. The official launch took place in November and since then the casino has had impressive gaming revenues and developed a strong VIP client base. Mark Brown, the CEO and President of Best Sunshine stated that the Best Sunshine Live casino had helped turned Saipan into the fourth largest VIP gaming hub in the world after Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore.
The casino generated $1.6 billion in rolling chip volume during June 2016 and these impressive numbers have benefitted Gov. Ralph DLG Torres administration. The government recently stated that it expects the casino to generate an additional $39 million in gross gaming taxes before the end of this fiscal year.
In a statement, Gov Torres said “The total projected amount of $39 million in gross gaming tax for the remainder of the years speaks volumes about our economic resurgence and the viability of the CNMI’s tourism industry as we expand to new tourism products”. The governor also expects the economy to get a further boost once the Kensington Hotel opens at the former Palm Resorts Saipan property.
The Best Sunshine Live Casino has also been responsible for generating more revenue for the Customs department as the director Joe Mafnas stated that custom revenues have gone up by 26.9 percent during a ten month period. Between October and July, customs saw an increase of $9.5 million which is mainly due to the construction materials being imported. During this 10 month period, customs collected $36.4 million when compared to the $26.9 million collected in the same period last fiscal. The majority of the imported construction material was for the Grand Mariana hotel in Garapan which is being constructed by Best Sunshine International.
The CNMI government plans to divert these funds into five main areas which are the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp; land compensation payments; levelized energy adjustment clause (LEAC) subsidies for CNMI ratepayers; the Public School System and the CNMI Medical Referral. The governor has asked for the money to be spent on a priority basis.