Category Archives: imperial pacific

Imperial Pacific could bring in night construction workers to finish casino on time


Imperial Pacific International (IPI) is trying desperately to finish its Imperial Pacific Resort (IPR) in Saipan as fast as it can. However, company officials admitted to the Commonwealth Casino Imperial Pacific could bring in night construction workers to finish casino on timeCommission last week that it doesn’t believe it can finish construction by its August deadline, and has asked for an extension until December. Even with that extension, IPI has acknowledged that it might be necessary to employ a second shift of construction workers, who would have to work at night, to complete the casino by December.

VP of construction, Erik Poon, is currently discussing the possibility with the casino’s contractor, Pacific Rim Contractors. The executive was quoted by the Saipan Tribune saying, “Pacific Rim and IPI have been talking about second (work) shift which will start after 7 pm until midnight. Right now, we already notified the people concerned about the possibility of night shift work.”

According to Poon, “The exact date we still have to iron out with Pacific Rim because right now, we have to put the safety features needed especially at night before we put a date for the second (work) shift.”

A lack of manpower has been the primary reason for delays of construction, according to Poon. IPI has increased the amount of construction workers considerably over the course of the past several months, but it may have been too little, too late for IPI to meet the schedule.

“For the past few months, IPI has significantly increased manpower, especially from IPI’s side as we have H2-B workers. It helped us a lot to put our schedule even further… Moving along I can say we are back to normal like the way we want it,” Poon said, according to the news outlet. “Currently, we have 68 management staff and 1,402 workers in construction—44 from Sinopan, 677 from Pacific Rim, and 700 IPI H2-B workers… we are still hiring… our requirement is 1,500 workers and right now we have 700 so we still have room to grow for sure.”

The IPR has been plagued with issues and delays almost since construction began. There have been accusations of financial improprieties, lack of adherence to contractual agreements and violations of employment agreements. In March, four Chinese companies involved with the resort’s construction were ordered to pay $14 million in compensation to more than 2,400 workers stemming from unpaid wages and subsequent damages.

When it is complete, the IPR will be a luxury integrated resort on the US territory with more than 200 gaming tables, 350 slot machines and a 14-story hotel. There are also plans for beach and night clubs to be added to the resort.

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Saipan senate committee seeks Imperial Pacific financial info


saipan-imperial-pacific-financial-infoCommonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) gaming officials want to take a closer look at the financial aspects of casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings (IPI).

On Wednesday, the Marianas Variety reported that members of the Senate Committee on Gaming plan to conduct a tour of IPI’s new Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel Saipan next month. The Resort had a partial opening of its gaming operations in July after repeatedly missing its targeted launch dates.

In advance of that tour, Committee chair Sen. Justo Quitugua has asked the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) to furnish information that will provide “an in-depth understanding of the financial aspects of the gaming industry.” The Committee says it wants the info by September 15.

Among the documents requested by the Committee are a detailed breakdown of gaming-related funds collected and taxed, as well as precise formulas for how those taxes were calculated. The Committee also wants to compare the casino’s rolling chip volume versus its gross gaming revenue.

Quitigua has also requested that Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson submit a status report on IPI’s casino operations, including a casino gaming revenue tax summary. IPI doesn’t actually pay any tax on gaming revenue, despite some Saipan legislators’ ongoing efforts to pass a bill that would impose such a tax, but Quitigua wants to ensure that IPI is paying its full share of Business Gross Revenue Tax.

The CNMI has to approve a fiscal 2018 budget by October 1 and Quitigua said the government “must be informed about all available resources to support government operations.” The requested IPI info “will clarify any doubts or queries on the actual payments made to the CNMI” by IPI.

Saipan issued its first junket operator license last September but it appears the Committee isn’t yet up to speed on the details. It has requested an explanation of “the purpose and goals” of dealing with junkets; what background checks were conducted; and what funds (if any) the government received through junket license approval.

Earlier this month, IPI announced it was looking to raise over $51m from two bond placements. The funds will be used to help complete the unfinished hotel accommodations of its new resort. While the resort’s full complement of amenities now doesn’t have to be ready until 2023, IPI has pledged to finish the initial 329-room hotel by August 2018.

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