March’s unaudited VIP gambling rolling chip volume rose 57.1 percent year-on-year at Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd’s temporary casino on the Pacific island of Saipan, the main island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. jurisdiction.
The monthly volume amounted to nearly US$2.97 billion, according to a filing this week to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In March 2016, VIP rolling chip volume at the Saipan venue – called Best Sunshine Live – was US$1.89 billion.
The firm’s US$25-million temporary casino (pictured) began operations in November 2015. It had a total of 16 VIP gaming tables and 32 mass tables at the end of 2016.
For the three months to March 31, Imperial Pacific reported VIP gambling rolling chip volume of US$10.22 billion, up 67.5 percent from the prior-year period. This growth was mainly supported by an increase in VIP gambling volume in January.
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.
Imperial Pacific is currently developing the Imperial Pacific Resort. The US$500-million venue will feature 350 hotel rooms, 15 villas, more than 200 gaming tables, 400-plus slot machines, several restaurants, a beach club and a night club.
Imperial Pacific had said in January that it planned to launch the new casino resort “in the first quarter of 2017”. But 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.
The company told GGRAsia in an email this week that it is now inviting local media to visit the permanent casino facility, expecting to announce soon an “exact date” for the venue to be opened to the public.
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"We have estimated that on average, the [daily] visitor arrivals for this year’s Chinese New Year break could turn out to be a bit weaker than for the Christmas holiday period"
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes
Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office