Rolling chip turnover in Imperial Pacific International Holdings’ Saipan casino has improved—albeit slightly—in July, thanks to Chinese high rollers who were looking for somewhere new to go.
In a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the casino operator announced that rolling chip turnover at its casino in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has reached US$1.74 billion (HK$12.52 billion) in July, a small jump from June’s US$1.65 billion. The turnover figure is the second lowest for the company since December 2015’s $1.44 billion.
The firm operates a temporary casino on the Pacific Island via its subsidiary, Best Sunshine International. CEO Mark Brown credited the island casino’s “boom time” to “repeat business” from high rollers who were tired of playing in Macau.
In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Brown said: “We are dealing with the ‘VVIP’ guys that we personally know. They are coming and they are loving it.”
“No one can play in our VIP rooms unless we know who they are. The game is real. [The players] like the fact that we’re highly regulated. They like the fact that it’s the U.S. It’s safe outside. It’s safe inside, it’s safe everywhere,” the executive said.
Located inside a shopping mall, Best Sunshine’s temporary casino has no hotel facilities and supports only 50 gaming tables, but this number will rise to over 250—along with 400 slot machines and the usual assortment of restaurants, bars and clubs—when Imperial Pacific’s $500-million Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort opens in the first quarter of 2017, according to previous filings by Imperial Pacific.
Brown believes the casino “should start seeing real growth” soon, especially since they have a monopoly concession for the next 40 years, which means that Imperial Pacific can expand as much as the market will bear.
Saipan is currently ranked fourth in the world in terms of VIP gambling turnover, trailing behind Macau, Las Vegas, and Singapore.