Hong Kong based Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd had earlier obtained a license to operate a casino on Saipan, a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Although the company had obtained an official license, it still had to go through numerous procedures in order to obtain the necessary permits that would allow it to proceed with its construction phase of the project.

The casino project received a lot of opposition from various sources including local organisations who believed the casino would be trespassing on land that was considered a sacred burial ground. In the end, the company managed to meet all the required regulations and secure a zoning permit from the Commonwealth Zoning Board.

Imperial Pacific recently announced that it had been given an official ‘notice to proceed’ on the 14th of July by the Division of Coastal Resources Management of the CNMI. The company had earlier stated that the main casino project would take months to complete and planned to open out a temporary casino on the Island in order to commence business at the earliest. Imperial Pacific had confirmed in June 2015 that the temporary casino would most likely be opened to the public before the end of September 2015.

Imperial Pacific International plans to spend over $7 billion on its mega casino-resort project which will also include a town hotel. The company expects the town hotel to be completed by 2016 and the main casino resort to be completed before the end of 2018. The casino is expected to generate a lot of income and create a number of job opportunities for the Saipan community.

The company completed a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which stated  “The Notice to Proceed, together with other relevant permits obtained, fulfil the regulatory and statutory requirements for the licensee to commence site construction of the town hotel, Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort, in Garapan, Saipan. Such [an] integrated resort will have a total of 254 rooms and gaming facilities. The licensee has commenced site construction on 15 July 2015 and that construction work would fully complete within 16 months.”

The main casino will be known as the Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort and have a total of 4000 rooms. The casino resort will be spread across 19,000-square-meters of public land and Best Sunshine International Ltd which is a part of the Imperial Pacific International will be responsible for running casino operations.