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Imperial Pacific: Saipan’s ‘temporary casino’ performs better than expected

The managing director of Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd., Shen Yan, said the company’s ‘temporary casino’ on the island of Saipan had received more customers than anticip

The managing director of Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd., Shen Yan, said the company’s ‘temporary casino’ on the island of Saipan had received more customers than anticipated, claiming the first phase of its integrated resort project is estimated to open as soon as the end of 2016.
The company, which is also known as an investor in the profit stream of Macau junket operator Hengsheng Group, had a soft opening of its ‘temporary casino’ on the island in July this year. The MD told Hong Kong reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday that the casino had received some 5,700 to 5,800 customers per day since the soft opening.
Offering only 10 gaming tables for the soft opening, Mr. Yan said the company would provide all 45 gaming tables in the casino on November 28.
In August last year, Imperial Pacific was granted a 25-year licence to build and operate a casino on Saipan, with an option to extend the licence for a further 15 years. In March this year, the company entered into a written amendment to its casino licence agreement with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which allows the company to establish and operate a ‘temporary casino’.
For the company’s integrated resort on the island, Mr. Yan revealed that Imperial Pacific would invest some US$600 million (HK$4.82 billion) in the first phase of the project, which would provide 300 gaming tables and 500 slot machines. He estimated the company could reach payback 12 to 18 months after the opening.
In addition, he anticipated the proportion of mass gaming and VIP gaming in the company’s casino would be 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the total, respectively.
He also revealed that the company had already collected the total guaranteed amount of profit from Hengsheng Group under the profit stream agreement, totalling HK$400 million (US$49.8 million).
In 2013, the two companies reached a profit transfer agreement that the junket operator would transfer a profit stream worth 5 per cent, or a guaranteed minimum annual income of HK$25 million, to Imperial Pacific.
Mr. Yan told reporters that the one-time charge is due to the junket operator failing to reach its minimum target due to the gaming downturn in Macau.

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