The owner of Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino has filed a court action against the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission over TCGCC’s termination of the company’s years of practice of deducting rebates from the computation of the casino gross revenue to attract gamblers to play and play longer.
Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., through counsel G. Anthony Long, has filed a petition asking the Superior Court to review TCGCC’s order.
Long asked the court to set aside TCGCC’s order and decision that, according to him, were “arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law.”
Long stated in the petition that on May 21, 2013, TCGCC issued an order that altered the 15-year policy for calculating the casino revenue tax by requiring inclusion of rebates in determining the casino gross revenues.
He said that Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd. promptly objected to the commission’s order and asked for a hearing.
A hearing was held on Aug. 7, 2013. On Sept. 17, 2013, the commission denied Hong Kong Entertainment’s objections.
Long asserted that the procedures employed in issuing the commission’s order and in addressing Hong Kong Entertainment’s objections are contrary to the Revised Act and statutory and constitutional due process.
“The agency action of altering the policy for calculating the casino revenue tax was arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law,” Long said.
In its Sept. 17, 2013, decision, the commission stopped Tinian Dynasty effective Nov. 1, 2013, from deducting rebates from the casino gross revenues.
The commission said that Tinian Dynasty may continue to give rebates as an incentive but it must not deduct the rebates from the casino gross revenue and must correctly pay its taxes in accordance with the law.
Tinian Dynasty’s rebate program is a marketing or incentive program to attract players to play and to play longer.
But according to the commission, the rebate program was improperly used by Tinian Dynasty to reduce the Gambling Revenue Tax it owes.
“The deduction of the rebates from the casino gross revenue was not authorized by the TCGCC and conflicts with the law defining what taxes are owed, defining casino gross revenues, and authorized adjustments of gambling revenue tax,” TCGCC said in the order.
The commission’s order was signed by its chair, Matthew C. Masga, vice chair Bernadita C. Palacios, and members Lydia F. Barcinas and Ignacio K. Quichocho.