In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a statement issued by Saipan casino operator, Imperial Pacific International LLC (IPI), on Friday asks for the continued support from the community regarding its issue paying its staff.

According to the official press release

IPI communicated via the Marianas Variety, the company “has been experiencing transfer issues to fund the company’s payroll for the Aug. 17, 2018 pay-period.”

continued support, patience and understanding

The company further communicated that in spite of the issue it paid more than 2,000 hourly employees on time on Friday. IPI went on to state that its salaried employees would be paid “within the week.”

“Imperial Pacific intends to meet our obligations and asks for the community’s continued support, patience and understanding,” the release informed.

Missed deadlines:

The company, a subsidiary of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited (SEHK: 1076), is responsible for the $650 million Imperial Palace Saipan integrated casino resort. And while the casino began welcoming gamblers just over a year ago, the license for the first-phase opening was contingent upon the entire resort being fully constructed and fully operational by Aug. 31, 2018.

However, in a July 23, 2018 letter to Commonwealth Casino Commissioner executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero, IPI informed the commission that it would not be able to meet the end of August deadline to complete the hotel portion of the casino resort in Garapan.

IPI further communicated its intention to request that the Lottery Commission grant what will be a second extension on the construction deadline.

The most recent deadline was set only after IPI informed the commission that it would not be able to meet an earlier deadline set for August 11, 2017, for the completion of the hotel portion of the Saipan property.

Making up for lost time:

In an interview conducted with Lu Hou Tsai, Operations Senior Vice-President for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited during Japan Gaming Congress 2018 in May, GGRAsia reported in June that the company is ‘working diligently’ to complete the Imperial Palace Saipan.

The VP further communicated that more than 1,000 workers out of Guam were currently on site working to finish the $650 million venue’s planned 350-room hotel and 15 villas.

On the heels of announcing that it couldn’t meet its construction deadline, last month IPI revealed that it hired 600 construction workers from the Philippines in an effort to complete the project. The company also said that it is considering adding an evening shift in the hopes of speeding up construction.

According to Asia Gaming Brief, IPI vice president for construction, Eric Poon, said that the million-dollar resort was 69 percent complete.

IPI is scheduled to report its Q1 results on August 30th.