Club 88, which launched itself four years ago as “the best little gaming club on Saipan,” is celebrating its fourth anniversary with a monthlong series of promotions and a promise to keep doing what they do, not only for the next four years but for the long haul.
According to Gus Noble, consolidating manager of Mariana Entertainment, LLC, which runs Club 88, when e-gaming was first introduced on Saipan, it was an offering for tourism.
“But it was also importantly introduced as a source of revenue and funding for the government and I think we are able to show it’s quite relevant…when you look at other gaming institutions,” he said.
He pointed out that Club 88 pays a gaming tax of 15%, which the company pays in advance, an annual operating fee of $100,000, plus the business gross revenue tax every month.
“We pay our taxes on time every month. …We are part of the Saipan community, we are proud of it and we are not going anywhere,” he added.
Club 88 also boasts of having 100% local residents and U.S.-citizen employees. “We don’t have CW or foreign workers,” Noble said. “We don’t bring in managers and supervisors because we bring in juniors to train and move them up to supervisors and managers.”
Since opening in Garapan on July 16 four years ago, one of the significant changes at Club 88 was the doubling of its size.
“We expanded by tearing down the wall and took over the gift shop next door. …It allowed us and our guests to get more comfortable surroundings and increase our machine numbers for players,” he said.
Since Club 88 is a part of the Saipan Vegas group now, Noble said they are always looking at expanding their options for their players in terms of products and promotions.
“We always look at being the leader in promotions as we give away big cash prizes,” he said.
Club 88 has over 100 machines now and a new roulette is being brought in. “It’s all about creating a fun experience for the players—a pleasant environment, good products, and promotions,” he added.
He concedes that they have faced unique circumstances as a business on Saipan. “We are also affected by the current economic conditions on island such as softening in revenues but…we have a good sustainable business that’s profitable. It can cope with the ups and downs, which is just an inevitable part, particularly in the CNMI economy, which has a habit of being in boom and bust cycles,” he said. “You have to build a business…that is able to work through those cycles and benefit from the upsides and be able to work through the tougher times.”
“I think it is important for the CNMI economy to have businesses that are sustainable,” he added.
Service at Club 88 includes serving guests with unlimited hotdog sandwiches, coffee, water, and beer 24/7. “They are free and you can drink…as long as it is in moderation,” Noble said.
As part of their anniversary celebrations, Club 88 has lined up anniversary promos for the entire month of July, said marketing supervisor Racquel Floyd.
“Every Friday, we have a $2,500 mega-draw at midnight. The good thing about this promo is, every time they collect the tickets during raffle hours, which we have four to five times [a day], those tickets are eligible for all the draws that we have every Friday. …So they need to keep their tickets from day one until the end of the promo,” she said.
Club 88 is located at Ocean View Hotel on Beach Road. For more information, call (670) 233-0888.