A halving of its annual US$3 million regulatory fee, cancellation of this year’s US$20 million community fund contribution and the ability to sue patrons over bad debt are among the measures included in the latest amendments to its Casino License Agreement proposed by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.
In a letter titled “Points for the 9th amendment of the CLA” sent to the CNMI Lottery Commission this week, IPI’s CEO Donald Browne listed eight requests including cutting the annual regulatory fee paid to the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) to US$1.5 million and retention of the company’s exclusive license to operate gaming on the island of Saipan.
IPI also wants the ability to sue patrons who fail to repay their gaming debts, backdated to 2015, with the promise that “15% of bad debt recovered through this action will be paid to the CNMI as a tax contribution.”
The company recently reported a loss of HK$797.9 million (US$103.2 million) for the six months to 30 June 2020, but also revealed that its gross trade receivables from VIP play now sits at a massive HK$9.05 billion (US$1.17 billion). Of that amount, HK$1.08 billion (US$139.4 million) is owing from the group’s single largest customer and HK$3.06 billion (US$394.8 million) from the 10 largest combined.
Notably, having recently written to the CCC requesting abatement of its annual US$15.5 million license fee, IPI said it would commit to paying the full amount each year and US$7.75 million for 2020 within 10 days should all points in its proposal be adopted by the Lottery Commission.
Under the plan, IPI would pay its 2021 fee in two annual instalments before resuming a single US$15.5 million payment from 2022.
Other proposed amendments include the legalization of online gaming and a future reduction of its annual license fee in instances where a “Force Majeure” forces closure of the casino for 30 days or more.