Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited was authorized to open its new casino facility in Garapan, a city located on the Pacific Island of Saipan, following approval from the Commonwealth Casino Commission, the Marianas Variety reported.
The Chinese investment company, headquartered in Hong Kong, plans to open its permanent Saipan gaming and hotel venue, known as the Imperial Pacific Resort, on or before July 15, 2017, after the commission announced its decision to give it the ‘green light’ last Thursday.
According to previous reports, since the Department of Public Works of the Government of the Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) approved a conditional occupancy permit in mid-May of this year, Imperial Pacific has been allowed to commence with operations of phase one of the current project.
The temporary permit – valid until November 16, 2017 – was issued to allow the development of the casino facilities and grand lobby, in addition to a bar and a few business offices.
The project’s development has been delayed by protests from construction workers – coming mainly from China – over unpaid wages and unsafe working conditions, according to previous reports.
The Marianas Variety further reported that on May 31, the commission ‘conditionally’ approved a request from the company to transfer its live training facility located at T Galleria, a shopping mall, to its hotel-casino.
In addition, the commission amended the casino license agreement in order to extend for a period of one year, Imperial Pacific’s rights to complete phase one of its project. The deadline is now set for August 31, 2018 – instead of the original deadline of August 31 of this year.
The amendment also allows the operator to open the casino without having completed the 250-room initial requirement it was supposed to have fulfilled in order to have the opening authorization granted.
In the amendment, the commission defined that the company could ‘move into the new casino facility when the commission gives them the green light,’ a Lottery Commission Chairman, and Commerce secretary, Mark Rabauliman said, as cited by the Marianas Variety.
The Saipan casino operator has also re-affirmed its commitment to enforcing measures that comply with local and federal laws and promoting fair and legal labour practices, the publication noted.
‘As a law-abiding corporate entity, Imperial Pacific will continue to follow appropriate local and federal statutes that promote lawful employment,’ the publication cited the operator as stating.
On May 1, 2017, the company hired a new contractor to secure its Garapan construction site, Island Protection Services, which replaced MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co., the main construction contractor.