The Saipan casino operation of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd achieved in November rolling chip volume of about US$1.70 billion, the firm said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Imperial Pacific has the right to a casino licence on Saipan, the main island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The casino licence was granted to Best Sunshine International Ltd, a subsidiary of Imperial Pacific. The firm has been operating a temporary casino on Saipan since November 2015.
The casino recorded an aggregate rolling chip volume of US$29.33 billion in its 13 months of operations, according to figures compiled by GGRAsia based on filings from Imperial Pacific.
In its 2016 interim report filed on August 22, the group said it was operating 48 gaming tables and 144 slot machines at the temporary casino. It had a total of 16 VIP gaming tables and 32 mass tables at the end of June.
On November 14, Bloomberg News had reported that the volumes of cash wagered at Imperial Pacific’s temporary Saipan casino were “drawing the attention of law-enforcement officials” in the United States.
Imperial Pacific has strenuously denied that claim and said in a Hong Kong filing on November 15 that it was seeking legal advice and reserved the right to pursue legal action against an “unfounded report”.
Shen Yan, president of global capital markets at Imperial Pacific, subsequently told GGRAsia in a telephone interview that it was “impossible” for its casino operation to be facilitating capital flight from China and that the firm and its casino operating unit complied with all U.S. laws and regulations.
Edward Deleon Guerrero, executive director of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, was later quoted by local media as saying if anti-money laundering inquiries were taking place on behalf of the U.S. federal authorities, they were likely to be routine.
Imperial Pacific is presently building a permanent facility to replace its current temporary casino. The Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort is due to open by Chinese New Year 2017.