February’s VIP gambling rolling chip volume at Pacific island casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd fell 70.2 percent month-on-month and 14.5 percent judged year-on-year.
The firm said in a Thursday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that February’s unaudited VIP chip turnover at its temporary casino (pictured) on Saipan amounted to nearly US$1.67 billion.
In January – which saw the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, a popular time for Chinese and other Asian people to gamble in casinos – Imperial Pacific recorded an all-time record VIP gambling volume of nearly US$5.59 billion.
In February 2016 – which encompassed a Chinese New Year holiday – the temporary casino’s VIP play volume amounted to a more modest US$1.95 billion.
Imperial Pacific had said in January that it planned to launch the replacement to the temporary casino – to be called Imperial Pacific Resort – “in the first quarter of 2017”. A company executive had recently been quoted saying that the property could have a “soft opening” on March 31.
The Marianas Variety newspaper subsequently reported that the firm was seeking to amend its casino licence agreement with its host government – the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. jurisdiction – including an extension to the deadline for starting operations at Imperial Pacific’s permanent casino on Saipan.
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"The idea that VIP [in Macau] would revert to its previous levels, I think that it’s clearly foregone, it’s not going to happen. But I anticipate that … the premium-mass and mass will be stronger than it has ever been”
Chief executive of Wynn Resorts