Saipan rolls out welcome mat for junkets

Gaming regulators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands say they have no plans to limit the number of junket operators authorized to bring high rollers to Saipan’s lone casino.

Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Casino Commission issued its first junket license to South Korea’s Big Bang Entertainment. On Monday, the Commission’s exec director Edward Deleon Guerrero said “no number” had been set as the upper limit of junket operators licensed to serve local casinos.

Guerrero told the Saipan Tribune that the Commission was still vetting the 17 junket applications it has received in addition to Big Bang’s. Guerrero said the Commission was also enlisting the help of Saipan’s only current casino operator, Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International, to help vet junket applicants “from the financial perspective.”

Imperial Pacific’s local subsidiary Best Sunshine International opened a temporary casino in a shopping mall last November while it finishes work on its permanent gaming venue. That permanent venue, previously referred to in filings as the Grand Mariana Casino and Hotel Resort, will operate as the Imperial Pacific Resort (artist’s impression pictured) when it opens in early 2017.

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