Saipan Casino Disputes Bloomberg News Story About Unusually High Revenues

Best Sunshine's parent company considering legal options over 'unfounded report'

By Jon Perez 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Nov. 17, 2016) – Imperial Pacific International Holdings, Ltd., is seeking legal advice and reserves the right to pursue legal action against international news agency Bloomberg on a news story that was posted on its online edition.

IPI is the parent company of Best Sunshine International, Ltd., which operates the Best Sunshine Live training casino inside luxury mall T Galleria.

IPI, a publicly listed company in the Hong Kong Stocks Exchange that has a market value of $2.4 billion, released a paid advertisement today in local newspapers— two days after the Bloomberg story came out—clarifying that the allegations are false.

Bloomberg’s story reported that the U.S. Department of the Treasury is looking into IPI’s casino operations on Saipan. Bloomberg has questioned the cash flow per table that BSI has reported.

“[IPI] has noted certain media articles [on Nov. 14] stating that U.S. regulatory authority was investigating into [BSI’s] casino on Saipan,” said IPI in the statement. “The Group has never received any investigation notice from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.”

IPI’s board of directors clarified that the allegations made by Bloomberg in the story are false. Reporters Daniela Wei and Matthew Campbell co-wrote the story after almost a week on Saipan more than a month ago.

“The board is seeking legal advice and reserves the right to pursue legal actions against the unfounded report,” added IPI in the statement.

The board also declared that BSI’s visitor headcount, based on its log data, at Best Sunshine Live have been below 300. Best Sunshine Live only has 38 gaming tables that serve five to six customers each.

“Each night, around 100 customers could not be arranged with a seat and had to queue or stand [in order] to participate,” added IPI in the statement.

They wanted to make it clear that BSI has not received any investigation notice from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

They said that they had put in place strict measures to avoid any financial crime or wrongdoing. “[BSI] has implemented stringent internal control measures and has applied an anti-money laundering system to ensure compliance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.”

They then requested the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to halt the trading of its shares from 9am on Tuesday to 9am on Wednesday.

IPI is building the Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel Saipan (formerly Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort) in Garapan and is targeting a soft opening in the second quarter of 2017.

Saipan Tribune
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