‘No major obstacles to reaching settlement with IPI’


Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Andrew Yeom does not see any major obstacles that would prevent reaching a settlement agreement with Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC that will resolve his five complaints that seek to revoke IPI’s exclusive casino license.

At the CCC board’s regular monthly meeting, Yeom told the board he believes that the parties may execute a settlement agreement before the July 8 expiration of the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s temporary restraining order.

He disclosed that both parties have had some fierce arguments during the settlement talks, but there are no major barriers right now. Just a few more minor items need to be ironed out, which he foresees will be mutually agreed upon by next week.

Because of the TRO that’s currently in place, Yeom said he does not really have much to report other than to say that he does not have a fully executed settlement agreement at this time.

He said they are close to reaching a settlement agreement but there are a few articles that they still need to deal with.

Since there is no agreement yet, his proposed motion to dismiss the five complaints against IPI is off the table for that day’s board meeting.

Yeom said that when they do have the agreement in the next few days, he would be off-island by then, so the acting executive director will be the one to sign it. He said the acting executive director is fully briefed about the matter.

Yeom said the acting director will have to call a special board meeting with a three-day notice in advance for that agreement to get the board’s approval.

Yeom had filed five complaints to revoke IPI’s casino license for alleged unwillingness to comply with the CCC’s final order by not paying the $3.1 million annual regulatory fee and $15.5 million annual exclusive casino license fee, among other violations.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona initially granted IPI’s request for a TRO to prevent the CCC from holding a hearing on the five complaints last May 24 and 25, 2022. Last May 31, Manglona extended the TRO for another 30 days as the parties in the case work toward a settlement.

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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