Imperial Pacific, the Hong Kong based company and its subsidiary Best Sunshine International in Saipan have sent in a request to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) government stating that they would need a deadline extension to complete their Imperial Pacific Resort. The company was expected to complete the project in August 2017 but has now requested for the new deadline to be February 2018.
The company has reportedly invested $7 billion to develop this integrated casino resort in Saipan Island which is expected to create thousands of jobs for the locals, boost tourism numbers to the island and generate a major portion of the government’s budget. Imperial Pacific has run into a number of hurdles during the development of the integrated casino resort and highlighted some of these reasons as to why it has struggled to finish the project on time.
Imperial Pacific made mention of Typhoon Soudelor which hit the island in 2015 and caused severe damage to construction equipment that required months of repair. Some of the other reasons listed were limited access to readily available human resources, poor weather conditions that made it difficult for construction workers to operate tower cranes and poor soil conditions that inflicted damage to pilings.
Imperial Pacific has also faced visa issues for its foreign workers as the U.S. federal government has placed a cap on the number of foreign workers the company can hire. A major portion of the company’s workforce is from the Philippines and a limitation on foreign work visas would hurt the company as it would be forced to let go of its foreign workers and rely on local talent which the company feels as of now does not meet its requirements.
There were also reports of a small fire breaking out at the casino site on March 13 but the fire was quickly dealt with by the Department of Fire and Emergency who called it a ‘trash fire’. The fire started on the western side of the Imperial Pacific Resort where debris from construction material was stacked against the building.
The company is currently running a temporary casino on the island called ‘Best Sunshine Live’ on a temporary casino license. The casino licensed was procured temporarily on the basis that Best Sunshine would use it to run a small operation and train its dealers and casino employees. The temporary casino turned out to be a massive success for Imperial Pacific as VIP gamblers from Asia started to flock to the casino and spend massive amounts of money that allowed the casino to rake in millions of dollars each month.
Imperial Pacific has also requested the CNMI government to extend its Best Sunshine Live temporary casino license from April 30, 2017 to October 31,2017. The temporary casino was opened to the public back in July 2017 and an extension to the temporary license would mean that the temporary casino would have operated for over 2 years on the temporary casino license. As of now there has been no indication from the CNMI government whether it will grant Imperial Pacific’s deadline extension for its temporary casino license and permanent casino construction deadline.
A statement released by Imperial Pacific states that the company is waiting for the lottery commission and government to make a decision on their requests but in the meantime will continue to work closely with all government departments and sub-contractors to push hard and try to complete the project well before the requested deadline. During this period of time, it is critical for Imperial Pacific that its Best Sunshine Live temporary casino continues to operate on the island as it is generating significant revenue for the company and its shareholders.
The temporary casino reportedly brought in over $32 billion in 2016 largely due to the spending of its VIP players. Casino management has tied up with selective junket operators and has also come up with unique packages to lure VIP gamblers to Saipan. Some of these packages include accommodation in luxury yachts and beachside villas as there is currently a lack of hotel rooms on the island. This has worked in favor of the temporary Saipan casino as many VIP gamblers have wanted to try a different experience than what Macau and Las Vegas casinos have to offer.

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