IPI casino soft opening at end-March

Imperial Pacific International (IPI) is planning a “soft opening” of its new casino on Mar. 31, but Saipan’s casino regulator has urged caution, according to a report from Marianas Variety.

On Thursday, Imperial Pacific representatives updated the Commonwealth Casino Commission and members of the House Committee on Gaming of the progress of its integrated resort project.

IPI said they were planning a soft opening of the casino on Mar. 31, while its hotel should be completed before the August deadline.

However, Commonwealth Casino Commission vice chairman Joseph C. Reyes advised IPI officials to consider the possibility of extending their contract with T-Galleria, which is expiring in April.

Reyes said a number of factors could still cause delays to the construction of the resort, urging IPI to look into extending its temporary casino contract with the venue from which it is currently located.

“They should start addressing it now because everything takes time, especially when it involves dealing with the government. They said they will be moving into the casino by late March, but I don’t know if that will happen. We just have to make sure that we are on top of everything as this casino industry is important for the CNMI economically,” he said.

However, IPI senior vice president for operations Donnie Browne said in an interview that the casino will open on March 31, so there is no need to extend the agreement with T-Galleria.

Casino commission members earlier this week toured the construction site and came away “very impressed”.