Gaming investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd says it is targeting to complete construction of its permanent casino on Saipan by Friday this week.
“It is expected that the site construction of the casino of the Imperial Pacific Resort will be completed on March 31, 2017 and will be opened to the public, while the hotel of the Imperial Pacific Resort will be opened in the second half of 2017,” the Hong Kong-listed firm wrote in its 2016 results report, filed on Monday.
The filing did not clarify whether the casino facility would be operational on March 31.
The firm said that construction work had been “progressing smoothly”. It stated that there were more than 2,000 workers on the site “working around-the-clock to ensure timely completion”.
Imperial Pacific has the right to an exclusive casino licence on the Pacific island of Saipan. The firm’s unit Best Sunshine International Ltd 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 said in its 2016 annual report that the temporary facility “will cease operation simultaneously upon the opening of the new casino”.
The gaming investor had asked to extend the deadline to complete construction of its permanent casino, citing a variety of challenges that caused construction delays. Those included: damage from Typhoon Soudelor; a shortage of skilled construction workers; limited cement supply; and unanticipated ground conditions. But the company made no reference to the extension request in its annual report.
The firm said the permanent casino will include 193 gaming tables and 365 slot machines, “which will substantially increase the company’s gaming capacity from its current level of 48 tables and 141 slot machines at the temporary facility.”
As of end-2016, Imperial Pacific had invested approximately US$343 million in the development of Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured in an artist’s rendering), it said.
Full 2016 results
Imperial Pacific achieved gross revenue of HKD7.49 billion (US$964.2 million) in full 2016, representing an increase of HKD6.77 billion in year-on-year terms.
Its trade receivables for the period amounted to just over HKD5.33 billion, including nearly HKD2.17-billion of such receivables that were more than six-months old but under one-year old. The total amount of receivables was net of HKD547.18-million of impairments.
The group’s profit for the year of 2016 was HK$935.6 million, as compared with a loss of HKD18.0 million in 2015.
The firm’s main revenue source was its temporary casino, which completed its first full calendar year of operations in 2016.
VIP rolling chip volume at Imperial Pacific’s temporary casino reached approximately HKD251.24 billion for 2016. VIP revenue increased by HKD6.51 billion to HKD7.13 billion.
The firm stated in its annual report that most of its direct VIP patrons came from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Saipan.
“In addition, a minor portion of the group’s VIP customers has been sourced via a new licensed junket operator since August 2016,” the firm said. Imperial Pacific added that as of end-2016, 18 gaming promoters had applied for junket licences with the local gaming regulator.
Revenue from mass gaming operations increased by HKD196.2 million to HKD261.9 million in 2016 and mass gaming drop reached HKD918.0 million.
Imperial Pacific did not declare a dividend.
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Chairman of gaming investor Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd