Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, which has a casino licence for the Pacific island of Saipan, has been authorised by the gaming regulator to increase the rebate percentage of its rolling chip programme, reported a local newspaper.
The Commonwealth Casino Commission on Tuesday authorised the company to revise the rebate rate to 1.8 percent from 1.3 percent. The approval was immediate with a six-month trial period, reported the Marianas Variety.
The report added that Imperial Pacific justified the request with the need to offer better incentives to VIP players than those provided by casinos in Macau and the Philippines. In Macau, rebate rates – usually paid under the form of commissions to junket operators – are capped at 1.25 percent of the rolling chip turnover.
Information from the Commonwealth Casino Commission – quoted by the Marianas Variety – show the regulator has so far received 12 junket applications. Those include five applications from Macau-based junket operators, according to the media outlet.
Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific currently operates a “temporary casino” on Saipan, a Pacific island that forms part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The gaming venue had a total of 12 VIP gaming tables and 34 mass tables as of December 31, 2015. Imperial Pacific’s casino licence is held via a local unit called Best Sunshine International Ltd.
The temporary casino last month recorded unaudited VIP table game rolling chip turnover of US$1.89 billion, according to a filing from Imperial Pacific.
The firm has pledged to spend as much as US$7 billion on a casino resort on Saipan. In July the company started construction on two hotels, with a total of 254 rooms, and a casino. The casino is scheduled to open by year-end.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings