The Commonwealth Casino Commission sees no problem with the CNMI Lottery Commission granting Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s request to allow IPI to include the number of hotel rooms its partner-investors would build to the number of rooms IPI is required to build.
The commission also has no problem with the Lottery Commission granting IPI’s request to reduce from 51% to 10% the required stake for the majority shareholder controlling interest in IPI. That would allow the casino investor to sell company shares and raise capital.
CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero said in an interview Tuesday that the two requests are authorized under Public Law 18-56, the Saipan casino gaming law, or the casino license agreement.
He said the Lottery Commission received several of IPI’s requests for amendments last month and the commission entertained only two of IPI’s requests at that time.
One request, Deleon Guerrero said, was to allow IPI to count the number of hotel rooms built by their investor- partner toward the number of rooms that is required of IPI.
“So, assuming that on Phase 1, they partner up with, let’s say for discussion purposes, Sheraton or Four Seasons. And Sheraton builds about 800 rooms, for example. They are asking the Lottery Commission if they can count that 800 rooms from the 2,000 rooms required by the law,” he said.
The Saipan casino gaming law requires IPI to build 2,000 new hotel rooms.
The other IPI’s request was to allow it to reduce its mandatory minimum ownership from 51% to no less than 10%.
He said the Lottery Commission gave its chairman the authority to negotiate with IPI and work with the attorney general and, he believes, with the Governor’s Office, to come up with final language.
Deleon Guerrero said that last Monday, the Lottery Commission chairman presented IPI’s requests to the Lottery Commission, which then ratified amendments to the casino license agreement.
He said it basically granted IPI the authority to count the hotel rooms of 4- to 5-star quality in Phase 1 of the integrated resort of their partners toward IPI’s total.
Second, IPI’s partner is allowed to reduce its mandatory minimum ownership to no less than 10%, Deleon Guerrero said.
He said that based on their understanding of IPI, they do not have history of running hotels, so it makes sense to bring in the trained hoteliers, whether its Sheraton or Four Seasons, or any big 4- or 5-star hotels.
“It makes sense to bring in the hotels that are reputable, world-renowned, trained. We see no problem [with that],” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said the only thing that they want to make sure is that IPI must still maintain the gaming; they cannot relinquish that.