Time is running out for Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino’s new investor.
The northern Marianas-based resort is scheduled to shut down its operations later this month due to lack of guests following typhoon Soudelor, but gaming officials said it will take some time before its new investor, Tinian Entertainment Co. (TEC), can take over.
Marianas Variety quoted Lucia Blanco-Maratita, executive director of Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission (TCGCC), who said that TEC’s application for a casino license is already “substantially complete,” but there are still “suitability investigations” that has to be completed.
According to the Tinian mayor’s office, TEC has to make an additional $100,000 deposit on Wednesday (Sept. 9) as refundable investigative funds. The investor has already made an initial payment of $100,000.
Blanco-Maratita said the investigation is expected to wrap up within 45 days, and if the company is found suitable, “they will be eligible for an interim casino authorization while the suitability determination for a casino license continues.”
In July, TCGCC signed a memorandum of understanding with HKE and TEC, transferring the ownership and operational control of HKE to TEC. TEC is an affiliate of China-based Chinese Strategic Holdings Ltd.
However, HKE Chairman Wai Chan sent a letter to Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas last week to inform him that they’re closing Tinian Dynasty because “insufficient guest arrival and negative cash flow has made it impossible to keep the property operational.”
The casino resort had already closed its casino floor in the aftermath of typhoon Soudelor last month. HKE said the resort was affected by charter flights being unable to land in Saipan, and tour operators also had difficulties selling its two-island tour package, which includes Tinian and Saipan.
Tinian Dynasty has more than 600 employees, but 135 people were already laid off in mid-August. San Nicolas expects an additional of more than 40 municipal employees will also be affected by the casino’s closure. The hotel and casino contributed about $3 million annually to the Tinian government.