CCC turns back some junket operator applicants

The Commonwealth Casino Commission has returned some of the companies that applied as junket operators as they need to comply with a strict process that includes a lot of back checking before they could do business on the island.

Best Sunshine International, Ltd. was granted the lone casino license on Saipan and is in the process of completing the multi-billion dollar Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort, which is expected to partially open in the first quarter of 2017. BSI, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International, Ltd., is currently operating a temporary casino at the T Galleria Saipan.

Junket operators usually have their own agents whose primary job is to select VIP patrons and other wealthy gamers to play in the casino they have business with. VIPs are offered various perks like free accommodation and transportation or experience the things where the casino is located.

CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero said they are still going through the vetting process and the background checks before they could issue another provisional license for an applicant. Big Bang Entertainment, whose clients are from Korea and Japan, remains the only junket operator that they have approved to deal with BSI.

“There remains one junket operator that we approved while the other applicants are still under review on the procedure that we have implemented. We are still going through with the vetting process,” said Deleon Guerrero after last Monday’s board meeting at the Joeten Kiyu Public Library video teleconference room.

“We have 17 other applicants but we took some of them and we turn them back. There are certain areas that they are missing and have not yet completed or complied with. Some of them have re-submitted their applications,” he said.

He said that BSI-IPI officials are also involved in the same process in what they do regarding their VIP players. “Before they issue the credit they are going to do their credit checks, world wealth checks, and litigation checks to see if they have been litigated.”

“What we did is utilize the process for the junket applicants. When they are satisfied that this individual is credit worthy, then that is only how they would allow credit for the VIP player,” added Deleon Guerrero.

CCC will then complete the process once BSI finds the applicant credit worthy. “If they feel that this applicant is credit worthy, then they will issue a letter of intent that they wanted to do business with them as a junket operator,” said Deleon Guerrero.

He said the different checks the commission does begin from the time they receive the application. “But after we get the letter of intent that will be the time in which we assess an investigative fee.”

“The commission reserves the right to issue a provisional license as the background checks continue. We did the same process before approving Big Bang. If the licensee determines that they are not going to do business with the operator, then the commission will cease any further review of the their application.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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