CCC chair says he would’ve revoked IPI’s casino license


Were it not for the due process clause, Edward C. Deleon Guerrero said he himself would have revoked the casino license agreement with Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.

At CCC’s regular monthly board meeting last week, Deleon Guerrero, who is board chair of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, said the board is very concerned about IPI’s financial stability. That includes not seeing any financial statement from IPI. He told IPI senior vice president of Public Affairs Tao Xing, who was in the meeting, that the CNMI follows procedural requirement or due process and that the commission follows that process.

The process begins with CCC issuing the three orders, said Guerrero, referring to the board’s action later in that meeting requiring IPI to maintain sufficient working capital to pay three months’ payroll in a bank in the CNMI or in the United States, for it to settle all payable accounts, and for IPI to appoint a chief executive officer.

If IPI does not respond to the three orders, there’s a good chance that suspension of the casino license will immediately follow that, he said. “It is my opinion that if you do not comply with the suspension, we will revoke the license. Mr. Tao, did you hear that, sir?” Deleon Guerrero asked.

He said he believes that IPI needs to revisit the casino license agreement and that whatever submission the company has should be submitted on time and from someone with authority.

Deleon Guerrero cited that the Lottery Commission is saying that the last letter that IPI submitted to it has no indication whether the person who signed it was authorized to renegotiate the license agreement. Therefore the Lottery Commission simply did not act on it, he added.

Deleon Guerrero told Tao that since Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. chair and executive director Cui Ji Lie is on Saipan, either have her authorize him (Tao) or have herself sign on anything that would bind IPI.

He said they have a courtesy copy of the letter that IPI submitted to the Lottery Commission, and that many of IPI’s requests in that letter he described as “somewhat insulting.” He said the letter asks the Lottery Commission to instruct the CCC to stay away from non-gaming. “I mean [the] Lottery Commission does not have the authority. Even the chairman of the Lottery Commission was laughing [about] how he could do that,” Deleon Guerrero said.

He said IPI’s letter also asked the Lottery Commission to issue them an internet gaming license when there is not even any internet gaming law on Saipan. “You’ve got to be realistic on those requests,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero said it’s ridiculous to ask the Lottery Commission for something over which it has no authority, and that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is upset over the lack of satisfaction in IPI’s obligations. “We had a meeting with him in this matter and he’s supporting our efforts to enforce these things,” he said, referring to CCC’s three orders.

Tao said he does have the latest version of IPI’s proposed amendment. He provided the board a copy of IPI’s proposed amendment, as prepared by their legal counsel, which he signed.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.