CCC, IPI to face off in May 24 hearing


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC is set to appear before the Commonwealth Casino Commission on May 24 to answer to the five enforcement actions made against it for failing to comply with a number of requirements under its exclusive license agreement.

In an interview with CCC executive director Andrew Yeom, he said that IPI, through authorized representative Tao Xing, will appear before the CCC board on May 24 to face the five enforcement actions he has filed against the casino investor.

“I filed five enforcement actions against IPI—all basically seeking for revocation. On May 24, I and our expert witnesses will face IPI and their witness to discuss these enforcement actions,” he said.


According to Yeom, the five enforcement actions relate to IPI’s failure to pay its annual $15.5 million license fee since August 2020, failure to pay its annual $3.1 million regulatory fee since October 2020, failure to contribute $20 million to the community benefit fund in both 2018 and 2019, failure to comply with its minimum $2 billion capital requirement, and failure to comply with a CCC order to pay all money owing to its vendors.

“There were so many violations, but these are the most critical. These five enforcement actions are basically the requirements to prove [IPI] is financially suited to be a casino operator. Obviously, if you’re not paying these fees, you’re not financially suitable. That’s exactly why I’m seeking revocation,” he said.

Originally, Yeom said, the revocation hearing was to be heard on May 3, but IPI needed time to gather their witnesses and both parties needed ample time to prepare their arguments and defenses.

“Part of the reason why we’re delaying the current revocation hearing from May 3 to the 24 is because IPI came up with their own expert witnesses that weren’t identified earlier. Both parties need to know exactly who is going to be brought in as expert witnesses and what for. That’s why we needed to postpone the hearing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yeom said IPI, whose exclusive casino license remains suspended after the Superior Court reaffirmed CCC’s suspension order, has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to reverse the suspension order.

He further explained that while IPI is doing that, he is seeking complete revocation of its license because it has failed to comply with the requirement to lift the suspension, like paying over $30 million in fees.

“They are technically legally suspended by the CCC, and it has been upheld by the CNMI Superior Court. Now, they’re challenging us in Supreme Court for the suspension order. Now, while that’s in play, I’m seeking revocation. This is a further action to the suspension because they couldn’t remedy the suspension order. When we suspended them, we said, ‘You need to pay all the regulatory fees, the casino license fee, and we need you to pay that immediately to [lift] your suspension’ but that hasn’t happened. That’s why I filed five more enforcement actions against them, because they did not live up to the suspension order,” he said.

IPI’s exclusive license was suspended back in May 2021 and the casino operator was given six months to pay both the $15.5 million casino license fee, the $3.1 million regulatory fee, and a $6.6 million fine to lift the suspension.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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