February 8, 2022 3 min read


Imperial Pacific Boss Who Threatened to Reveal Dirty Secrets Resigns

Even when it tries its best to keep things together, Imperial Pacific International (IPI) fails. Faced with the realization that the casino operator could permanently be kicked out of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), its now-former CEO lashed out at lawmakers recently. As a result, he “voluntarily” resigned from the company, effective February 1.

IPI’s Stable Instability

Ray Yumul, the interim CEO at IPI, has resigned after only a year on the job. According to the Saipan Tribune, Yumul resigned last week by writing a letter to the operator’s HR department, informing it of his decision. He wrote that it was a pleasure and an honor to fill the void left behind by Donald Browne, the former CEO. Browne, an IT executive prior to his appointment, also only lasted about a year.

Yumul resigned just days after he got into a heated argument with members of the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) over IPI’s failure to remove a crane from the Imperial Palace casino in Saipan. Yumul threatened to disclose past deals between Yumul and local politicians at a meeting next month at which the CCC will decide whether to revoke IPI’s casino license.

Yumul is rumored to have told the CCC to “go to Hell” during recent discussions. He later apologized.

Yumul Never Stood a Chance

Yumul should be given a medal for bravery for even accepting the offer to run IPI. However, he likely never had a shot at becoming the permanent CEO. CCC Executive Director Andrew Yeom told the Saipan Tribune last Wednesday that it had not granted IPI’s request for Yumul to become its boss.

Yeom was the original complainant against IPI for not complying with certain requirements in its license agreement.

These five complaints were specifically about IPI’s failures to pay its annual $15.5-million license fee in August 2020, its annual $3.1-million regulatory fee in October 2020, its failure to contribute $20-million to the community benefit fund both in 2018 and 2019, and its capital requirements of minimum $2 billion.

IPI’s license was suspended by the government in May 2021 as a result of the outstanding debt. The company was given six months to pay the casino license fee, the regulatory fee, and a $6.6-million fine or face license revocation. It never came up with the full amount.

IPI Facing New Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

IPI has a history of poor dealings with its employees and is now facing a new lawsuit as a result. A construction engineer with a disability who the company previously employed has filed a federal lawsuit against it.

Rongkun Xiao, a US citizen who resides on Saipan, sued IPI through attorney Collin Thompson for wrongful termination. He was severely injured on the job while working for the company and left paralyzed. Instead of working with him, IPI first tried to demote him and offered him a salary cut of 50%. When Xiao refused, IPI fired him.

Xiao is seeking a jury trial after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved his lawsuit last year. He also wants full back pay, benefits, and reinstatement to a job he would have had in the absence or alternative of discrimination. Given IPI’s track record of non-payment, he shouldn’t expect to see compensation if the case is decided in his favor.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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