In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and besieged casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited is reportedly set to be officially investigated after failing to pay its employees for a fourth consecutive week.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming citing multiple newspapers in the American territory, the Hong Kong-headquartered firm is to be probed by the Commonwealth Casino Commission and could now be looking at the possibility of having its casino license revoked. The source detailed that the recent shortfall for the operator behind the under-construction Imperial Palace Saipan venue represents the fourth such breakdown since October and comes as it remains involved in a lengthy legal dispute with former contractor Pacific Rim Land Development.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited reportedly opened the casino within its $650 million Saipan facility in July of 2017 but has since struggled to complete work on an adjacent 500-room hotel. The whole project was then purportedly thrown into financial difficulties after being forced to close in March as a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Donald Browne, Chief Executive Officer for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, reportedly revealed that this most recent salary shortfall was down to his firm’s inability to secure additional outside funding. This assertion purportedly came despite last month’s news that a foreign investor was willing to place slightly over $5.59 million into the casino operator’s local bank account.
Reportedly read a statement from Browne…
“We are committed to our employees and are working tirelessly to find the funding needed to get pay-checks in their hands. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this continues to cause them.”
However, this stalemate reportedly comes only about five months after the Commonwealth Casino Commission ordered the casino firm to begin keeping enough cash on hand to cover at least one quarter of payroll. Edward Deleon Guerrero serves as the regulator’s Chairman and he purportedly explained that the ongoing failure could now result in Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited having its local gambling license temporarily suspended or even permanently revoked.
Guerrero reportedly declared…
“We’re looking into it now. That’s on the agenda, for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited to update the Commonwealth Casino Commission on the status of the payroll delay. If it does not comply, it could result in the suspension of its license. If it does not comply with whatever the requirements of that suspension are, this may result in the revocation of that license.”