Imperial Pacific to open doors of permanent Saipan casino on Friday

Imperial Pacific to open doors of permanent Saipan casino on Friday

Casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd will roll out the red carpet of its permanent casino in Saipan on Friday, the firm announced in a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Imperial Pacific to open doors of permanent Saipan casino on FridayThe announcement of the opening of Imperial Pacific Resort comes as the Hong Kong-based gaming investor reported gross revenue of HKD7.49 billion (US$964.2 million) in 2016, representing an increase of HKD6.77 billion ($871.56 million) in year-on-year terms.

Imperial Pacific said it will open the doors of its permanent casino on Friday as it reported the completion of the casino’s site construction. It isn’t clear though whether the casino will be operational on March 31.

“It is expected that the site construction of the casino of the Imperial Pacific Resort will be completed on March 31, 2017 and will be opened to the public, while the hotel of the Imperial Pacific Resort will be opened in the second half of 2017,” the Hong Kong-listed firm wrote in its 2016 results report, filed on Monday.

The firm said the permanent casino will include 193 gaming tables and 365 slot machines, “which will substantially increase the company’s gaming capacity from its current level of 48 tables and 141 slot machines at the temporary facility.”

For this casino project, Imperial declared that it had invested approximately US$343 million as of end-2016. With the completion of the permanent casino, Imperial said that the temporary casino operated by Best Sunshine International will simultaneously stop its operations.

The opening of the permanent casino in Saipan was not the only the good news that Imperial Pacific shared to its investors.

According to Imperial Pacific, the group swung back to profit in 2016 with HK$935.6 million ($120.45 million) from a loss of HKD18.0 million ($2.32 million) in 2015. Most of the profit came from its temporary casino, which completed its first full calendar year of operations in 2016.

Imperial Pacific also noted that the VIP rolling chip volume of its temporary casino was at HKD251.24 billion ($32.34 billion) for 2016. VIP revenue rose from HKD6.51 billion ($838.09 million) to HKD7.13 billion ($918.3 million).

Most of the VIP patrons came from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Saipan.

“In addition, a minor portion of the group’s VIP customers has been sourced via a new licensed junket operator since August 2016,” the firm said. Imperial Pacific added that as of end-2016, 18 gaming promoters had applied for junket licenses with the local gaming regulator.