It’s not unheard of for a casino project to be the subject of accusations, but this will be a first for the Northern Mariana Islands. Their new Saipan casino has caused a lot of controversy after the death of a construction worker on site in 2016. This tragic occurrence has opened up speculation against the Imperial Pacific International project, which is still underway.
As a commonwealth territory of the United States, the Northern Mariana Islands are subject to their federal laws. After the death of a worker in 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) opened a case against the developer. At the time, they found ‘widespread visa violations among the construction.’ However, the project is being developed by a Hong Kong-based firm who own Imperial Pacific International. This is not uncommon in the gambling industry, but their background brings into question how qualified they are to build a casino resort.
Despite claims made against Imperial Pacific, they have continued to build the Saipan casino. The official name of the project is the Grand Mariana Casino Hotel & Resort. While the resort is under construction, a smaller casino is operating in a local shopping centre. The company claims that this temporary casino is meant to train the dealers for the completed casino. However, another set of allegations against Imperial Pacific call this operation into question.
This temporary casino has reportedly been handling roughly US$2 billion (AU$2.53 billion) a month since it opened. It may not sound alarming, but this is roughly the same amount as Macau’s biggest resorts. Which has led experts to wonder how exactly this is possible for such a remote island. After all, the Northern Mariana Islands are nearly 1600 miles (±965.6km) from the Philippines. This distance has also led to severe delays for the casino project.
The Grand Mariana Casino Hotel & Resort was originally scheduled to be completed by 2023, but after they failed to meet a phase deadline, this was pushed back. They now estimate that the project will be finished by 2028. Sadly, it is believed that this is still too optimistic. Additionally, the project is well over the expected budget.
On the other hand, safer working conditions during construction may just make this possible. Keep visiting Pokies.com for more news about this story!