Imperial Pacific International Requests Relief of its US$15.5 Million Annual License Fee to Commonwealth Casino Commission

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A Spain based casino operator, Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has submitted a letter to the Commonwealth Casino Commission of the CNMI.

In the letter, the company has requested abatement in its annual licensing fee up to US$15.5 million, which it failed to pay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman Issues Public Statement Expressing Disappointment

After receiving the request, the Commonwealth Casino Commission released some official statements about the current events that are happening around IPI.

Edward DeLeon Guerrero is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Casino Commission. According to him, IPI needs to comply with its obligations towards CNMI along with their vendors, employees and other partners, who work with their company.

The commission is highly disappointed about the decision of IPI to demand abatement of their casino regulatory fee and annual licensing fee. They are consistently investigating and enforcing its current orders that surrounds the overall range of any contributions or payables that are owned by public entities.

The company is also prepared to address all the remedies as per the Casino License Agreement and CNMI gaming regulations as they relate to IPI’s non-compliance and non-payment matters.

The Reasons Behind The Failure To Pay Licensing Fees

A month ago, the chairman of CCC, Edward DeLeon Guerrero had a discussion with the media. He stated that he could have revoked IPl’s license if it had not been for the requirement to comply with the due legal process.

As per the Casino License Agreement, IPI is needed to pay the annual casino licensing fee of US$15 million. It also donates over US$20 million per year to the community benefit fund. However, the company was unable to fulfil both these obligations this year.

In a written statement the CEO of IPI, Donald Browne reveals that their company is unable to meet this year’s license fees. This is because of the shutdown of their operation for about three to four months following the COVID-19 pandemic. He further adds that they have no income for the past five months.

It also added that the firm had to pay repatriation costs to their staff along with maintaining some operating wages and cost for the rest of the workers. This has a hard time for them.

Under Section 25 of the Casino License Agreement and sue to the global COVID-19 pandemic, they request an abatement for this year’s license fees. The letter also proposes for the company’s annual US$3 million payment in order to continue the operation of CCC itself prior to their reopening.

In May, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation denied supporting IPI and the company’s head office for their failure to pay the licensing fees. IPI shares decline upto HK$0.010 during last week. The CCC warns the company to pay the bills otherwise they would have to close its operations permanently.

About the Commonwealth Casino Commission

The Commonwealth Casino Commission addresses to ensure that all CNMI casinos are working with high reliability and integrity. It also ensures that games operate fairly and casinos are going with their best practices.

To fulfil these purposes, they implement robust controls on entire functions of casinos. Moreover, the commission keeps a close eye on its vendors, casinos and gaming workers licenses to promote compliance.

It also covers license suspension and monetary sanctions.

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