In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and beleaguered casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited has reportedly reached a deal that could see it retain the license to run its Imperial Palace Saipan facility.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Asian firm has signed an agreement in principle with the Commonwealth Casino Commission regulator after it was earlier ordered to begin satisfying a range of debts that ran to well over $25.2 million. However, the source detailed that the precise terms of this arrangement are as yet unknown but will be made public via a status conference scheduled to take place on the first day of July.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited and the Commonwealth Casino Commission reportedly filed a joint notice with the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands last week declaring that the pair ‘are in the process of finalizing these terms through a settlement agreement’ and intend to notify the body ‘upon the entry of this agreement’. This move purportedly came a month after this federal court had temporarily inhibited a move that would have seen the operator lose its local casino license pending a determination by an independent arbitrator on its rights and liabilities.
Hong Kong-headquartered Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited reportedly opened the casino within its $650 million Imperial Palace Saipan development in July of 2017 but subsequently struggled to complete work on an adjacent 500-room hotel. The whole Saipan development was purportedly thrown into financial difficulties owing to its closure from March of 2020 at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and the later revocation of its license due to fee failures.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited’s situation subsequently got even worse when the Commonwealth Casino Commission reportedly revealed that the firm had skipped out on an annual $15.5 million license fee in August of 2020. The regulator purportedly later disclosed that these arrears had moreover run to a $3.1 million obligation from October of that same year and obligatory $20 million community benefit contributions for both 2018 and 2019.
Nevertheless, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited reportedly recently divulged that it had reached a deal with new investor OH Group that is to see it receive roughly $150 million by the end of the month. The company purportedly noted that this cash is to be used to pay off its debts with the Commonwealth Casino Commission and a select group of vendors in hopes of being able to restart operations at its shuttered Imperial Palace Saipan venue.