The group controlling the Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured), a casino property on the Pacific island of Saipan, says that – based on unaudited data – it expects to swing from annual profit in 2017 to a loss for the year to December 31, 2018.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd said in a Friday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the expected deficit was “mainly attributable to the decrease in total revenue and the impairment of trade receivables”.
The group’s annual profit for 2017 had been HKD637.5 million (US$81.2 million), although that was a 32-percent slide on the profit recorded by the group in 2016.
On its 2018 interim balance sheet filed in late August, Imperial Pacific said that gross trade receivables – typically associated in the casino industry with money owed by VIP gamblers for losses they incurred while playing on credit – for the six months to June 30 were up slightly, at HKD13.70 billion, compared to HKD13.28 billion in the prior-year period.
Imperial Pacific’s casino business is in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a United States possession in the western Pacific Ocean. The group said it expects to report its full-year 2018 results on or before March 31.
In late February, Saipan media reported representatives of the promoter saying work on Imperial Pacific Resort would finish this year.
In early March the Saipan Tribune newspaper reported that the local regulator, the Commonwealth Casino Commission, had granted provisional licences to three junkets for operations at Imperial Pacific Resort.
The news outlet further reported a senior official from the regulator saying it would not seek to limit – albeit subject to regulatory approval – the number of junkets that could do business at the gaming venue.
Cui Li Jie, chairwoman of Imperial Pacific, had been named on the 2018 list compiled by Forbes magazine ranking the world’s U.S.-dollar billionaires. Ms Cui was absent from Forbes’ 2019 World’s Billionaires list.
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