In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited has reportedly asked officials for permission to extend the construction deadline for the first phase of its giant Imperial Palace Saipan integrated casino resort by over two years.

Official appeal lodged:

According to a report from the Marianas Variety newspaper, the official request was lodged with the American territory’s Lottery Commission via its Development Plan Advisory Committee and additionally stated that the current government-mandated August 31 closing date is not going to be met.

Target a condition of casino opening:

Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited began welcoming gamblers to the $650 million Saipan venue to enjoy a selection of some 350 slots and 200 gaming tables in July of 2017. But, a deal inked with the local Lottery Commission three months prior made the license for this first-phase opening contingent upon the property’s 350-room hotel being fully operational by the end of this month.

Firm now hoping for late-2020 deadline:

The Marianas Variety reports that the developer has now asked to be given until December 31, 2020, to complete all of the outstanding work before it goes on to add an amphitheater by 2023. Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited explained that the extension has become necessary due to a shortage of skilled construction workers caused by delays in the issuance of new immigration and labor laws.

Request receives recommendation:

The newspaper reported that the Development Plan Advisory Committee, which is comprised of private entities Pacific Century Incorporated and N15 Architecture Company Incorporated, subsequently recommended that the Lottery Commission approve the proposed deadline extension. It purportedly declared that doing so would allow Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited to establish a sustainable gaming facility that would result in the territory gaining ‘maximum financial receipts.’

The Development Plan Advisory Committee’s statement read…

“The analysis provides compelling evidence that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will gain maximum financial receipts by amending the [casino license agreement] to provide the development flexibility and time extension to complete the construction.”

Lottery Commission to consider application:

The Marianas Variety reported that the three-member Lottery Commission, which is headed by Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman, will now be required to hold a special meeting in order to discuss whether to approve the deadline extension.