A permanent casino resort on the Pacific island of Saipan, being promoted by Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, is to open on March 31. That is according to a report from a local media outlet, quoting a company executive.
According to the Marianas Variety newspaper, senior vice president for operations Donnie Browne said the property – called Imperial Pacific Resort – would have a “soft opening” on March 31.
GGRAsia approached Imperial Pacific for confirmation of the March 31 soft opening date for the casino resort. No reply was available at the time this story was published.
The firm said in January it planned to launch the property “in the first quarter of 2017”. In previous statements it said the Imperial Pacific Resort was due to open “by 2017 Chinese New Year”, which started on January 28.
The opening date of the venue was discussed on Thursday during a meeting between the Commonwealth Casino Commission – the regulator on Saipan – and representatives from Imperial Pacific, reported the Marianas Variety.
The report stated commission vice chairman Joseph Reyes had expressed concerns on the feasibility of a March 31 opening. He reportedly suggested Imperial Pacific consider extending the lease of its temporary casino venue as a precautionary measure. The current lease reportedly expires in April.
Imperial Pacific has the right to an exclusive casino licence on the Pacific island of Saipan. The firm is currently operating a temporary casino – which opened in July 2015 – on Saipan, the main island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. jurisdiction.
Imperial Pacific has stated in previous filings that the casino at Imperial Pacific Resort would feature around “200 to 300 gaming tables” and “300 to 400 slot machines”. The 350-suite resort (pictured in an artist’s rendering) is being designed by architecture practice Steelman Partners LLP, which has been involved in the design of several large casinos in Asia and elsewhere.
Imperial Pacific said in January that the temporary casino had generated 2016 unaudited VIP table games rolling chip turnover totalling nearly US$32.37 billion.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia