The casino on the US island you’ve never heard of could be a big deal

  • New Saipan casino reports off-the-charts revenue numbers
  • But concerns about accuracy of eye-watering revenue figures

March will see a new $600 million casino open its doors in Saipan, a US-administered island located in the Pacific Ocean.

Imperial Pacific Saipan
The Imperial Pacific hotel and casino is located on the beautiful US-administered island of Saipan.

Projected revenues for the casino are off the charts, but the investors are afraid that Best Sunshine International, the company behind the project, has got its numbers wrong, painting a distorted and inaccurate picture.

The Imperial Pacific hotel and casino reported the income of $32 billion (MOP256 billion) last year from its temporary venue. This is more than all the casinos in Macau which reported the overall gaming revenues of $28 billion.

Industry analysts skeptical

While certainly impressive, these numbers have caused skepticism among experts. A Forbes article penned by Muhammad Cohen explains these concerns in detail. Cohen explains that industry insiders believe the numbers may have been manipulated to increase the company’s market value.

Making things even sketchier is the fact the temporary Imperial Pacific casino was able to achieve this high of revenue from just 16 VIP tables. According to the casino’s reports, over the last year, some 100 VIP visitors contributed $27 million in revenues every month. Every single of their sixteen VIP tables saw an average of $5.6 million in wagers placed every day during 2016.

Number concerns and unpaid debts

The numbers presented by the Imperial Pacific represent a figure four times higher than the recorded revenue in Macau during its peak. This gives the foundations for concerns about possible manipulations.

Insiders suspect that a large portion of the casino’s reported revenue, possibly as high as 90%, is made up of unpaid debts of their VIP players. Compared to Asia, where this number is around 14%, this could be a very serious liability for the company. In addition to these concerns, there are also rumors that if the Imperial Pacific hotel and casino isn’t opened by the end of March, regulators might withdraw their operating license altogether.

At the same time, Saipan is ideally located to offer casino gambling, being almost as close as Macau by air travel, and much easier to reach than other destinations serving Chinese players, like Cambodia or Singapore.

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