Songao floats idea of limiting IPI’s maximum credit to patrons


Commonwealth Casino Commission commissioner Diego M. Songao has floated the idea of limiting the maximum credits that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC can give its patrons based on its operating capital.

At the CCC board meeting last week, Songao noted that the total investment made in the construction of the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan is not even a billion, yet IPI’s account receivables now stands at $1.7 billion. “That’s a big problem,” he said.

He now wonders at the large amount of collectibles and speculates that that may have contributed to the financial capability of IPI in the construction and all its pending payables.

When he asked IPI chief executive officer Donald Browne if this is normal, Browne replied that Macau casinos and other casinos with VIP players similarly have huge accounts receivables. Casinos in the U.S. mainland, however, don’t carry a lot of debt, Browne said, because when an outstanding account is not paid within 45 days, that becomes a criminal offense.

Browne said that they absolutely now have restricted their credit, that they can still attract gamblers but not at $300 million a credit or numbers like that. “I think we probably learned our lesson by now,” he said.

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

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