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IPI wants to pay next year’s casino license fee by installments

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IMPERIAL Pacific International is asking the CNMI Lottery Commission to allow IPI to pay the casino license fee for 2021 by installments.

Two months ago the casino investor requested the commission for a ninth amendment to the casino license agreement that would reduce by 50% the annual exclusive casino license fee; allow for a smaller contribution to the community benefit fund; and an  extension of deadlines in completing the casino resort project.

IPI Chief Executive Officer Donald Browne wrote a letter again to Lottery Commission Chairman Mark Rabauliman to “resubmit” IPI’s request for ninth amendment to the CLA.

This time, IPI is proposing that the annual license fee remain $15 million (adjusted to $15.5 million for years 6 to 10).

But for year 2020,  IPI wants to be allowed to pay  $7.75 million within 10 days after approval of the requested amendment. On Feb. 12, 2021, IPI will pay $7.75 million of the 2021 license fee and pay the remaining $7.75 million on Aug. 12, 2021.

The casino resort’s CEO assured Rabauliman that in January 2022, the payment of $15.5 million license fee will resume.

 

 

Still under construction: The Imperial Pacific International casino hotel and resort in Garapan. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

He said once IPI obtains the title to the Marpi property including the golf course formerly leased to Mariana Resort & Spa, the 2,000 hotel rooms “shall be built in five years.”

Browne also requested for the postponement of IPI’s  community benefit fund contribution for 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

He said any community benefit fund contribution that is past due will be paid back for infrastructure projects such as road, sewer, public school construction, and social projects subject to approval by the CNMI government and IPI. “Provided, however, that the payback for the overdue will not be paid within three years immediately after the approval of proposed ninth amendment.”

Browne said in the first full year of operation of the hotel resort in Marpi, the payment of the $20 million annual community benefit fund will be resumed.

 

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