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Regulators of Saipan Casino Seek New Law Enforcement Powers

Northern Mariana Island Commonwealth gaming regulators are seeking additional legal enforcement powers after various incidences by imperial pacific international operators.

Juan Sablan, the chairperson of the Commonwealth Casino Commission and Edward Guerrero, executive directive, through a letter, asked the CNMI committee expressed their support for HB21-11 bill, which clarifies the powers of the CCC.

According to the Marianas Variety, regulators should be elevated to a law enforcement agency for it to undertake background checks on gaming license holders, investigate gaming misdemeanors and enforce gaming laws.

The CCC has expressed its frustration with delays in remittance of yearly license fees by IPI. They submitted partial payments before the deadline. They took an extra 15 days to submit the remaining amount. CCC imposed penalties amounting to $375000 on IPI for this misconduct.

This past Monday, chair Ralph Yumul stated that he has elected to work with the CCC. He also stated that certain provisions of the HB21-11 bill will be taken down in due course. Specifically, the chair promised to change any wording that allowed casinos financial statements and information private.

The operator IPI holds a casino-operating license on behalf of Saipan, however, the actual state of its financial position is increasingly worrying CNMI lawmakers. At the beginning of September, a court rules against the company’s intention to continue keeping financial disclosures a secret.

The ruling made it possible for Rep Edwin Propst to disclose that the firm (IPI) had remitted slightly under $21000 in gross revenue (BGRT) this year. This is considered a pittance, considering that they paid 43.6 million dollars last year. IPI’s top brass claimed that they overpaid their 2018 taxes, so they are owed credits. Unfortunately, Saipan lawmakers do not appreciate this view.

IPI’s financial misdemeanor continued to irk legislators last month with their revelation that they lost close to $240 million in the first 6 months of 2019. In the meantime, the firm’s unending cycle of unfavorable news saw more bad new published last Friday following a revelation that their general contractor, Pacific Rim Land Development, was also suing for breach of contract. This contractor has been working on IPI’s imperial casino.

According to the Saipan Tribute, Pacific Rim is asking for $10 million in damages, about $5.6 million as mechanical liens and a further $5.65 million to cover various other damages. The contractor’s lawyer, Colin Thompson stated that IPI has routinely skipped their payment deadlines. They only made partial payments on their debt, which they have owed since last year.

Source: https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/23/casino/saipan-casino-regulators-seek-new-law-enforcement-powers/

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Catherine Wambui

Catherine Wambui

Catherine Nyaga is a freelance writer covering Real Estate and Technology. Her other interests include Nature, pets and accounting. She recently graduate from Nairobi University with a degree in Accounting.

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