Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas hopes the $75 million worth of fines that is keeping the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino from resuming operations is resolved soon.
The Tinian Dynasty shut down in 2015 because it didn’t have enough funds to continue operations, a decline in room occupancy rates, and multiple other reasons.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, soon after shutting down, Tinian Dynasty was fined $75 million by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for “willful and egregious violations” of the Bank Secrecy Act.
San Nicolas does not know who will pay that fine or if it will even be paid at all.
“I know that we have investors interested in the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino but I don’t know where they are and how far they have negotiated with the owners. But anybody who is interested has to deal with the $75-million assessment by FinCen,” he said.
He is hoping for a resolution of the matter but, at this point, there seems to be none.
San Nicolas said it is a matter of negotiations between the government and the Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd. “I think the owners and the government need to really sit down and negotiate a plan on how to resolve the FinCen matter and how to renovate the building,” he said.
San Nicolas said that he doesn’t want to see the Tinian Dynasty & Casino remain inactive but the fine is a definite barrier.
“I certainly don’t want it to just remain idle forever. I don’t think anybody wants that but the fact of the matter is that there is an existing assessment on the company,” he said.
Hong Kong Entertainment owns the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. Its majority shareholder is Mega Stars Overseas Ltd.
As it stands, the building has been unused. There has been no hotel or casino operation on Tinian since 2016.
A visit by the Saipan Tribune showed that the hotel and casino is still heavily guarded by Hong Kong Entertainment.
“It’s to prevent heavy vandalism or any trespassing, that’s why they still have security there,” said San Nicolas.