In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the operator behind the Imperial Palace Saipan has reportedly warned that it may be forced to permanently close the giant facility should it be compelled to pay some $6.8 million to a former contractor.
According to a report from the Saipan Tribune newspaper, the revelation from Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited comes after the firm lost a motion late last month in front of the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. This action purportedly saw Chief Judge Ramona Manglona rule that the company was in breach of contract and owed Pacific Rim Land Development $5.65 million for helping to build the 14-story venue located on the island of Saipan alongside approximately $1.15 million in fees and interest.
However, the newspaper reported that the embattled casino operator is now appealing this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in hopes of being able to delay or reduce this payment on grounds that the contractor may have overstated the cost of its work.
The Saipan Tribune reported that a lawyer working on behalf of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, Michael Dotts, has additionally filed a motion asking the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands to delay enforcing its April 23 decision until after the mainland court has had a chance to rule on the firm’s appeal.
Dotts reportedly used an official legal brief to detail that his client is suffering financially due to the temporary coronavirus-related closure of its Imperial Palace Saipan venue and now scarcely has enough cash to cover its payroll, utility and tax commitments. He purportedly moreover explained that the firm does not have sufficient funds to cover the judgement or post an associated bond and may be forced to permanently shutter the $650 million development for the loss of 1,066 jobs should its appeal not be granted.
Reportedly read Dotts’ brief…
“Yet if the judgment becomes enforceable while the appeal is pending, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited will be unable to pay it and will likely have to close permanently. Failing to stay the proceedings pending appeal will not just put Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited at risk of further financial distress, it will also put the people of Saipan at risk of layoffs, empty pockets, lack of food and shelter and increased crime and violence. If this happens, the people of Saipan will not have opportunities for employment elsewhere because of the recession resulting from coronavirus.”
Inside Asian Gaming used its own report on the matter to pronounce that Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited recorded a loss of around $508 million last year as its aggregate revenues plummeted by 83.4% year-on-year to just $69.5 million. This source furthermore related that the casino firm has only partially satisfied its previous pair of payroll cycles and was last week disconnected from its electricity supply by the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation for lack of payment.