In the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands, a local construction firm is suing Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited and its Best Sunshine International Limited subsidiary over claims that it is owed just over $1.67 million for building the firms’ Best Sunshine Live casino.

According to a report from the Marianas Variety newspaper, plaintiff RNV Construction filed its lawsuit with the archipelago’s Superior Court on Monday alleging that it is still waiting to receive some $161,500 under the original $3.2 million contract to build the Saipan facility along with in excess of $1.51 million for making subsequent changes to the property demanded by Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited.

The court documents reportedly claim that RNV Construction signed the deal to transform a portion of a duty-free shopping mall into the Best Sunshine Live temporary casino on April 13, 2015, with the gambling enterprise in the village of Garapan subsequently completed less than two months later before opening for business in October of last year.

The complaint filed through attorney Jennifer Dockter also reportedly contends that Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited demanded significant changes to the original project brief after construction had begun, which led to RNV Construction incurring almost $1.81 million in extra costs as its staff had been required to work almost around the clock.

The lawsuit moreover claims that the defendants subsequently made incremental payments but that these had been untimely before asking for “fixes” following a “walkthrough” of the completed facility in November of 2015. RNV Construction declared that it satisfied these requests at no extra cost but was later notified in May that Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited did not intend to pay until further “fixes” had been made.

RNV Construction stated that it had again made these changes without charge and was told in June that full payment would be forthcoming. However, despite numerous promises, the construction firm is still waiting for the cash with its lawsuit claiming that Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited had no intention of paying and had “intentionally induced RNV [Construction] to undertake work at no cost upon its false promise of payment”.

The action from RNV Construction alleges breaches of contract, fair dealing and good faith along with fraud and unjust enrichment and is demanding an award of actual and compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

For its part, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, which plans to open the first phase of its nearby Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan before the end of next month, declared that it fully respects its local partners and the local laws, and has retained “a professional legal team” in order to address RNV Construction’s claims in court.

The casino operator further proclaimed that the amount RNV Construction is attempting to collect does not represent the agreed price while it stated that it had filed a counterclaim because the construction firm had breached its contract by engaging in unfair practices.

“We believe the court will render a fair judgment,” read a statement from Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited. “The company is committed to its investment. Sustainable development and localization are very important for the rapid growth of the company and the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands. We continue to work with different business partners, the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands government and the community to develop the local economy, offer job opportunities and promote Saipan as a premier international tourist destination. The construction of the company’s [Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan] project is not affected by the lawsuit and continues to progress according to schedule.”