Saipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings (IPI) is suing a Las Vegas gambler over an unpaid casino marker.
On Wednesday, the Saipan Tribune reported that IPI had filed a lawsuit against Las Vegas resident Patrick Sun for unpaid gambling-related loans totaling $747k. The company has requested a jury trial and is seeking payment of the principal plus interest (24% per annum), costs and fees.
According to the lawsuit, Sun visited IPI’s temporary casino Best Sunshine Live in June 2017, originally establishing a $1m line of credit at the casino before requesting and receiving an increase to $2m. Sun left Saipan on June 9, 2017 still owing the casino $447k.
Sun returned to Saipan in early July 2017, just days before IPI’s new permanent gaming venue was to open, and borrowed an additional $300k from the company. Sun returned home on July 5, with his total outstanding sum now $747k, and ultimately defaulted on both loans.
IPI is notorious for routinely writing off hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollectable VIP gambling debts, given that most of IPI’s gambling whales are assumed to hail from China, where gambling debts are legally unenforceable.
The difference in this case is that Sun is a US resident, and Saipan is located in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US Commonwealth, meaning Sun’s debt is legally recognized by the courts. IPI is being repped by Catherine J. Cachero of the Marianas Legal Strategy Group.
Unlike most Asia-Pacific casino operators, IPI has for the most part avoided deals with junket operators aka gaming promoters, preferring instead to deal directly with VIP gamblers it (presumably) has thoroughly vetted ahead of time.
Saipan regulators have so far approved only a single junket operator, despite receiving over a dozen other junket license applications. IPI’s recent annual report to shareholders notes that this junket currently handles “a minor operation” of IPI’s VIP clients.
However, IPI’s report also indicated that the company expects to “commence collaboration with gaming promoters after they are granted junket operator licenses to operate on the island of Saipan.” IPI added that Saipan’s low-tax regime will allow IPI to offer “very competitive commission rates” to entice junket interest … and maybe let someone else worry about debt collecting for a change.