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Fiona Simmons May 5, 2023 2 min read
Public Works Department Wants to Investigate IPI’s Decaying Saipan Casino
The Department of Public Works is yet to secure an official permission to investigate the casino site and check the casino’s integrity
Imperial Palace Casino in Saipan remains closed to this day. Imperial Pacific International (IPI), which operates the casino, has been involved in various controversies and almost lost its license on several occasions. However, the controversies might not be the only thing preventing the property from reopening.
As reported by Mariana Variety, two years of being closed have taken their toll on Imperial Palace. Even if the court decides that IPI can reopen its venue, the property might simply be unsafe to reopen.
It is believed that the NMI climate may have affected the structural integrity of the property, compromising its safety. The local conditions can speed up corrosion, causing devastating damage to untended venues. Considering that Imperial Palace was never finished, to begin with, there is a high likelihood of problems.
The DPW Wants to Investigate the Property
As a result, the Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to inspect Imperial Palace and see if the property is safe. DPW secretary Ray N. Yumul asked IPI to allow DPW code inspectors to check all electrical, mechanical and standard components and verify the integrity of the building and welding connections.
Yumul would also like to check the two construction cranes that have remained in place ever since the property was shut down. Considering that the cranes were already deteriorating in 2021, according to an earlier report.
The secretary promised that the investigation will prioritize identifying key areas that need immediate attention. Yumul, who has previously served as the chief executive of Imperial Palace, might be the right man for saving IPI’s property from weathering.
Unfortunately, according to a report from casino.org, the DPW remains unable to obtain approval for its investigation from the Commonwealth Casino Commission. The department has so far been unable to locate Ralph S. Demapan since the latter is likely getting ready for arbitration meetings in Hawaii.
As a result, the critical investigation might be delayed.
IPI Is Still in Trouble
Last year, IPI narrowly dodged losing its Saipan casino license, despite the company’s continued failures to pay its license and regulatory fees. IPI, once again, promised to settle its debts, causing the hearing to be postponed.
Despite making a partial payment in November, the operator continues to fail to pay its fees in a timely manner. Around that same time, the NMI greenlit the auctioning of Imperial Palace assets.