Aug 23, 2016 Newsdesk Latest News, Top of the deck, World
Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd says it hopes to inaugurate its permanent casino resort on the Pacific island of Saipan “by 2017 Chinese New Year”. The firm added that the property would be opened in stages.
“The board aims to commence opening of the Imperial Pacific Resort by 2017 Chinese New Year with the opening of the hotel tower by the end of March 2017,” the firm stated in its unaudited interim report for the six months to June 30. The document was filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday after trading hours.
The Chinese New Year holiday period in 2017 starts on January 28.
The permanent casino to be known as Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured in an artist’s rendering) was previously referred to in filings as having the name “Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort”.
Monday’s interim report from the firm stated: “Construction of the town hotel, the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan, Saipan, has been progressing smoothly. An additional US$83 million (equivalent to HKD644.9 million) has been invested in design and construction of this super luxurious resort which has brought the total investment to US$143 million (equivalent to HKD1.11 billion) by the end of first half of 2016.”
Imperial Pacific stated that the property’s casino would feature around “200 to 300 gaming tables” and “300 to 400 slot machines”.
The 350-suite resort 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 stated it would “continue to allocate most of its resources” to Saipan, where it enjoys an exclusive casino licence, granted in 2014. “In addition, the group is also actively looking for other investment opportunities around the world to develop tourist resort facilities (including gaming facilities),” it added.
Strong VIP performance
For the first half of 2016, Imperial Pacific reported revenue of HKD3.99 billion: over 99.5 percent came from gaming operations. Profit for the period was HKD837.3 million, as compared with a loss of HKD168.8 million in the corresponding period of last year.
“The turnaround from loss to profit is mainly attributable to the gaming profit generated by the temporary casino which launched its grand opening on November 27, 2015,” the firm stated.
Imperial Pacific’s US$25-million temporary casino generated rolling chip volume of HKD104.65 billion in the first six months of 2016, the firm stated. The company recorded a total VIP gross table win of HKD3.82 billion for the period.
“Geographically, most of our direct VIP patrons are from [mainland] China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea and Saipan,” Imperial Pacific said.
In the first half of 2016, mass table game drop was HKD410.7 million; mass table game win was HKD121.2 million.
Imperial Pacific’s temporary casino had a total of 16 VIP gaming tables and 32 mass tables at the end of June, the firm stated.
In May, the firm said that its VIP gaming operations in Saipan had reached saturation.
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