Tinian Mayor JP San Nicolas announced in a press release today that Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino was closing its casino operations temporarily commencing Friday afternoon past. The release noted that the closure was confirmed in a meeting with owners, Hong Kong Entertainment (HKE) and their operations consultants, Spectrum Gaming.

The reason given the inability tour operators to sell two-island destination tour packages due to the recent environmental and infrastructure damage caused by Typhoon Soudelor. The airport in Saipan has been restricted to daylight-only hours, and charter flights to the casino only land at night.

The mayor requested the meeting with HKE and Spectrum out of concern for collateral damage the closure will cause, especially for those employed by the casino, and municipal employees whose jobs depend on revenues from the casino. The announcement stated the the closing would be temporary and that management of Tinian Dynasty would provide free lodging and meals in the interim for all employees.

The Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission (TCGCC) entered into a memorandum of understanding with HKE and Tinian Entertainment Co. (TEC) over month ago to transfer ownership and operational control of HKE to TEC. The mayor expressed optimism that the new arrangement would result in the the casino reopening again soon.

In June Tinian Dynasty was levied with a record $75 million fine by U.S. Treasury based Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for failure to report thousands of currency transactions over $10,000 as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. On July 25th it was reported that HKE had settled the dispute by a forfeiture of $3.04 million with no criminal prosecutions.