It’s all systems go for Alter City Group’s $1.2 billion casino project in Tinian.
Last week, the Tinian casino Gaming Control Commission approved Alter Casino Group’s application for a conditional license to operate a casino facility in Tinian, the Marianas Variety reported.
With the conditional license, the casino operator will be able to start the ball rolling with all the requirements needed to build the casino on the proposed site at Puntan Diablo, commission chairwoman Esther Barr said, according to the news outlet.
Alter Casino Group will get its plenary license after it completes the rest of the requirements.
In 2014, the Macau-based casino operator bought a 152-hectare plot of land in Tinian, where it plans to build its integrated resort and casino. The land lease agreement, which Alter City Group entered with the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands’ Department of Public Lands, covers an initial period of 25 years with an option for a further 15 years.
Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas told the Marianas Variety that the Alter City Group’s conditional license is a welcome news, especially now that the island’s economy is suffering due to the temporary closure of Tinian Dynasty. Hong Kong Entertainment Investments Ltd. (HKE), owner of the northern Marianas-based resort, filed for bankruptcy in December citing insufficient assets to meet its liabilities, but the company said the purpose of Chapter 11 is not to go out of business but to continue doing business.
HKE’s board was advised that filing of Chapter 11 is necessary for the company “to avoid the possibility that the assets of the corporation will be insufficient to meet the obligations based on litigation expenses and possible liabilities, which may result from unliquidated but disputed claims.”
Tinian Dynasty shut down in September due to lack of guests following typhoon Soudelor. 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.