Saipan operators Imperial Pacific International have suffered a large drop in VIP turnover in February, only a month after hitting a record high, according to news reports from a recent Honk Kong Stock Exchange filing.
The company entered the Northern Mariana Islands markets several years ago with plans to build a massive casino on the Saipan Island called the Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort, which is scheduled for a “soft” launch this March. But in 2015, the group decided to build the temporary Best Sunshine Live Casino in the town of Garapan until the bigger resort opened, which officially launched in November 2015.
During last year, the Best Sunshine Live casino became one of the most lucrative gambling venues with an unaudited VIP turnover of $32.37 billion for 2016. The same year the property saw its (then) largest VIP turnover in September, when the numbers hit $3.95 billion, or two and a half times more than August 2016. But latest numbers show that VIP turnover at the casino dropped down to $1.67 billion this February – a large difference when compared to their January numbers when the casino generated $5.6 billion from its VIPs.
The latest turnover swing comes not long after doubts were voiced about the impressive VIP numbers of the casino in a lengthy Forbes Asia story. According to David Green, a former Aussie regulator, with no GGY (gross gaming revenue) and independent confirmations, the veracity of the published VIP numbers remains unproven. Thus, he wonders whether the reports were “confected” to boost the market value of the company, despite reports saying that Honk Kong shares have fallen.