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Gaming panel sets oversight on IPI’s compliance failures

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The House of Representatives Committee on Gaming, chaired by Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan), agreed yesterday to hold a legislative oversight hearing to look on the governance, financial suitability, and compliance failures of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.

After citing the many problems and issues involving IPI, committee vice chair Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) moved to hold a legislative oversight hearing.

“Legislative oversight is critical at this juncture, and long overdue,” Sablan said.

All committee members agreed.

Sablan told reporters after the meeting that after six years since the casino project first started in the Commonwealth, there’s a long history of compliance failures, there are questions about corporate governance, who’s actually in charge of the company, and who actually makes decisions.

She said there’s a litany of lawsuits and failures to pay a license fee and regulatory fee.

“The list goes on and on,” she said.

Now the Legislature is being asked to consider changes to the law and the Commonwealth Casino Commission is being asked to consider changes to the license.

“Is this a legitimate business? And if it’s not a legitimate business given this long history of violations that I described earlier in my statement, then why would we continue to accommodate the company and how do we move forward to uphold our laws, disentangle ourselves from all these mess and move forward as a Commonwealth?” she asked.

Sablan said they already have a list of initial witnesses that they’s like to call and a list of documents to start with.

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

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