In the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands, casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited has declared that the first phase of its new Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan is scheduled to open “in the first quarter of 2017”.

Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited had previously stated that the new Saipan venue would open “by 2017 Chinese New Year”, which begins from January 28, but it used a Wednesday filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to reveal that this target for the $500 million development had been pushed back with a “soft opening” now expected before the end of March.

Cai Lingli, Executive Director for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, declared that construction had been “progressing smoothly with over 2,000 workers working around-the-clock to ensure early completion” while previous filings explained that the 350-suite Saipan venue designed by architectural practice Steelman Partners is set to feature 200 to 300 gaming tables along with 300 to 400 slots.

Regarding some of the crews that have been helping to build the Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan near the town of Garapan, the Marianas Variety newspaper yesterday reported that a group of workers who last month staged a public protest over unpaid wages had received their cash and left the island.

The revelation concerning the 146 employees of subcontractor Sino Great Wall International Engineering Company Limited reportedly came from Edith Deleon Guerrero, Labor Department Secretary for the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands, who moreover explained that her department had been diligently monitoring the situation since the December 16 protest.

“The employees received their pay in the morning and then by mid-afternoon they departed the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands,” Deleon Guerrero told the newspaper. “The Labor Department visited the lodgings of the workers at the end of last week and found no remaining workers as of December 26.”

Deleon Guerrero reportedly detailed that the protesting Chinese workers, who alleged that Sino Great Wall International Engineering Company Limited had missed three pay periods, began being fully compensated from December 19 with the entire group satisfied by the end of the following week.

“[The] Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands Labor Department will continue to work hard to protect the rights of employees in all issues involving their employment,” Deleon Guerrero told the Marianas Variety. “We will continue to build strength in our enforcement capacity pursuant to Northern Mariana Islands Administrative Code Chapter 80 Labor Department Employment Rules And Regulations. This is the rule we follow and is applicable to all businesses in the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands regardless of capitalization size, industry and/or sector, foreign or local owned. The rule we follow does not differentiate any of these, hence it is the rule that the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands Labor Department is mandated to enforce and must follow, nothing else.”

However, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, which is also responsible for the nearby Best Sunshine Live casino via its Best Sunshine International Limited subsidiary, could soon be involved in a second pay dispute after 30 workers of interior design subcontractor Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration Company Limited reportedly staged a peaceful protest yesterday to demand their Chinese New Year bonus.

The Marianas Variety reported that the protesting employees, who have been working on the Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan, are unhappy that they will not be receiving a holiday bonus because they have elected to temporarily return home for the holidays in contrast to 370 remaining compatriots who are set to be given the benefit.

“Because we understand that they want to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their families, we allowed them to go on vacation,” Hu Rongyu, Vice-President for Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration Company Limited, told the newspaper. “Now those who want to leave are protesting and are demanding the same bonus. We pay them properly and we agreed to negotiate.”

Hu reportedly told the newspaper that his firm had already agreed to pay the airfare for any worker that wanted to return to China for the holidays and would compensate the striking employees at the normal daily rate for the time they had spent protesting.

4 Responses

  1. Pauline

    Imperial Pacific claims of 2000 workers working around the clock is bogus. There is no more than 300 workers on site. Ms. Cai has never step foot on the construction site – too dangerous even for the casino commission to inspect. Her claims of soft opening by March probably means March 2019 – the steel structure is only less than 50 complete, and MEP has not started. These scam artists think that they can just let people into a casino where overhead cranes will still operate and there is no protection from falling debris. Best of all there is no fire protection design for the entire building! There is no water, there is no sewer service! The Best sunshine investment manager was a former banker that was arrested for smuggling a gun in Hong Kong airport (just google this) The building materials used do not meet US codes, and the portions built are not to design and unless torn down, will never meet US codes. Missing columns, missing concrete strength tests, inadequate concrete curing, non compliant structural welding, means that no insurer will be able to insure it against typhoons. The structure is likely non seismic compliant. Most overseas suppliers from China have not been paid, and no local contractors want to do business with this group of scam artists. Revenues are made up, not real and financial audits cannot be possible. The gaming commission has no accountants that can count, nor does best sunshine. Turnover of staff is unbelievable. This is a massive scam by a group of money launderers helped by the corrupt gaming commission and government to launder money. Saipan will be the home of a huge white elephant as the federal government is stepping in to correct massive violations of labor laws, safety laws, and money laundering. Fitch, Moody and any financial institutions and reporting firms should come to Saipan to see for themselves whether Ms. Cai mean soft opening by March 2017 or really March 2019!!! Just looking tells the whole story!

    • Lars Jones

      Hello Pauline. Thank you for reading World Casino News. In spite of best editorial wisdom, we will let this comment stand and simply ask our esteemed readers to do their own research if they have any questions or concerns. Please do not assume that by publishing Pauline’s comments we agree with them in any way, nor do we take any comments pro or con at face value unless substantiated, and we will not allow the comment section of World Casino News become a soap box for any agenda. What this reader’s comments in concert with several others in local media, whatever their agenda, do show is that there is a strong undercurrent of resistance by some to the development of large-scale casino operations in the CNMI, but it is beyond the scope of this publication to play host to an unbalanced discussion. We would invite readers who have issues, concerns, comments, kudos, or raspberries for any of the thousands of casinos listed on the World Casino Directory to navigate to that casino’s profile, find the forum, and register your thoughts. The forums are monitored daily and casino representatives are encouraged to respond. To find a casino’s profile, you can simply click the hyperlinked name of the property anywhere in the news story and then look for the word “Forum” to participate.


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