Hong Kong-listed casino operator Imperial Pacific International is facing suspension of its gaming license due to its failure or may be unwillingness to pay millions of dollars into a local community benefit fund.
Charlie Atalig, executive director of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands dragged Imperial Pacific International to court, seeking the court’s order to suspend the casino operator’s gaming license until the company made all required contributions to the Community Benefit Fund.
As per the Imperial Pacific International’s gaming license requirements, the company should contribute $20 million to the Community Benefit Fund per annum but the company is reportedly in arrears to the tune of roughly $37 million. For more than a year, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has been pressing the company but the company never cared to respond. Atalig said that the casino’s failure to pay what it owes warrants suspension of its gaming license.
Atalig wants the Commonwealth Casino Commission, which is acting as an appellate court in this matter, to impose a hefty fine of $100,000 on the casino giant, which claims to offer world-class entertainment through its integrated resort complexes.
The casino giant’s attorney Michael Dotts recently claimed that the company parent firm Imperial Pacific
International Holdings would further finance the stressed casino operator. Cui Le Jie, the parent firm’s owner, has reportedly lent the casino operator some public relations support. Cui, who is also serving as Imperial Pacific International’s chair, recently appeared posing in the presidential suites of the company’s still unfinished Imperial Palace Resort. She dubbed the two suites, which are still not ready, as eight-star suites.
It is worth-mentioning here that just a few days back a U.S. District Court judge turned down the casino giant’s motion for a stay of the $6.8 million judgment won by one of its former contractors, namely Pacific Rim Land Development, which had dragged the company to the court claiming that the company failed to make payment after a specific work done.
Dealing a tough blow to Imperial Pacific International, CCC directors scolded the casino giant for trying to halt an investigation by U.S. financial watchdogs into apparent infringements of the Bank Secrecy Act. The company is also under a probe by the FBI for possible money laundering and illegal campaign contributions to CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres.