Former Macau gaming executive Mark Brown (pictured in a file photo) has left Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (IPI) LLC for a second time in two years, reports the Marianas Variety newspaper.
On Wednesday the outlet cited Edward Guerrero, executive director of the Commonwealth Casino Commission on Saipan – part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a United States jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean – as saying Mr Brown informed the regulator of his resignation as chief executive of the operator, in an email on Sunday, with effect from that day.
Local media had reported previously that he had quit as chief executive of the operating unit in December 2017 for “family reasons”. In October 2018, Saipan news outlets said he had returned from “retirement” to take up the post of “interim chairman”.
Imperial Pacific International is controlled by Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd.
Marianas Variety said the regulator had given Mr Brown a deadline of December 3 to “submit a new organisational chart” for the local business.
This was, according to commentary attributed to Mr Guerrero, because the commissioners had found that Mr Brown’s authority did not include matters concerning construction of Imperial Pacific International’s casino resort – currently branded Imperial Palace – and financial matters concerning Imperial Pacific International. As a result, the commission had wished to amend the terms of his licence.
Nonetheless Marianas Variety also cited Mr Guerrero as saying the casino at the resort continued to operate round the clock, and that the people operating it currently were properly licensed by the commission.
In early November, the Hong Kong-listed parent of the Saipan casino operator said in a filing it was providing assistance to an investigation by “local enforcement authorities”. The announcement came following media reports that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had executed several search warrants on Saipan, including at the offices of people reportedly connected with Imperial Pacific International.
There is no suggestion that Mr Brown’s departure is in any way connected with the FBI inquiry.
Mr Brown’s earlier career included a stint as head of Las Vegas Sands Corp’s operations in Macau from April 2006 to April 2009. He was also chief operating officer of Cambodia-based casino operator NagaWorld Ltd, a unit of NagaCorp Ltd, between December 2013 and October 2014.
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"The casinos have to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The decision [to suspend casino operations] is up to the government. As of now, we don’t have any plan to change the existing regulations"
Lei Wai Nong
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance