Defense claims Saipan Vegas’ financial records were conflicting

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The defense in the lawsuit filed by two e-gaming companies against the CNMI Department of Finance claims that the financial records provided to the court by Saipan Vegas, one of the plaintiffs, conflicted with records previously provided to DOF as part of the licensing process.

According to assistant attorney general Keisha Blaise, who represents DOF in the matter, the profit and loss statements for 2018 and 2019 provided for MP Holdings, LLC —which does business as Saipan Vegas—directly conflicts with financial records that Saipan Vegas submitted to the DOF Enforcement and Regulatory Branch as part of the electronic gaming licensing process.

“Specifically, the revenues, expenses, and net profits shown in records submitted to the Enforcement and Regulatory Branch are entirely different than those provided by Saipan Vegas in the profit and loss statements submitted to the court. These documents show such wide discrepancies in plaintiffs’ reports that the accuracy and veracity of the profit and loss statements should called into question, especially considering plaintiffs’ lack of supporting documentation,” she said.

Because of the conflicting records, Blaise argues that Saipan Vegas, and Mariana Entertainment, LLC—which does business as Club 88— should not be granted their requested preliminary injunction.

“Plaintiff’s submission should thus be deemed unreliable at best, and certainly insufficient to establish irreparable harm. As a result, the court should deny plaintiffs their requested preliminary relief,” Blaise stated.

Aside from the conflicting financial records, Blaise also said the plaintiffs have not provided specific information or documentation to support the position that they would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction. “Plaintiffs seeking preliminary relief are required to demonstrate, not merely speculate that irreparable injury is likely in the absence of an injunction,” she said.

Blaise said the court ordered plaintiffs to produce financial records to support their claim by Aug. 25 but plaintiffs did not do so until Aug. 26. However, the filed records included a set of schedules they allegedly claimed to be actual profits and losses for MP Holdings, LLC and Mariana Entertainment, LLC for 2018 through the first half of 2021, and a projection for the second half of 2021.

In addition, Blaise claims plaintiffs’ supporting documentation only evidences licensing fees paid from August 2020 through July 2021, a fraction of the time covered plaintiffs claim that their businesses will not survive the fee increase in question based on these records.

“However, the financial records submitted by plaintiffs are not reliable and are insufficient to support this claim. The profit and loss statements are unaudited and unsupported by financial records and therefore should be afforded little evidentiary weight. Plaintiffs have put 2018 through 2021 into question and provided profit and loss statements for those years, yet the supporting documentation submitted by plaintiffs only pertains to licensing fees paid for portions of 2020 and 2021. Critically, plaintiffs did not provide supporting documentation necessary for calculating or substantiating the revenues, expenses, taxes, fees, or net profits shown on the profit and loss statements submitted to the court,” the defense stated.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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