Saipan-based Imperial Pacific International (IPI), an Asian gaming and casino operator has decided to reduce the working time of its employees in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
On Tuesday, IPI gave a statement to the media giving out details about the company’s plans to reduce staff hours by 30% for all the employees of Imperial Palace Resort in response to the
impact on travel demands throughout all of Asia” because of coronavirus outbreak. However, IPI said that it still is “fully committed to the [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)] as always.
IPI has been embroiled in cases of tax evasion, money laundering and non-payment of funds for community benefit as required by terms of gaming license in Saipan. After this announcement, the firm went on to address this issue in the media.
IPI spoke of around six long years of struggle to setup its establishment on Saipan; they said that along with the company, its employees have also struggled a lot and their “ability to create a steady stream of income has suffered.” IPI claimed that the company has made an investment of about $1 billion in CNMI and has paid more than $300 million as taxes and fees to the government, even though the firm had to bear losses of more than “$500 million accumulatively.”
IPI explained their decision to overlook its business gross revenue tax (BGRT) commitments because they think that they have overpaid taxes to the tune of over $40 million, which is going to result in a refund by the government. IPI and the regulatory body worked out a deal last week, according to which the IPI has to pay nearly 60% of the $30 million it owes to the government, as claimed.
According to IPI, it has already donated about $10 million to the community benefit fund since 2018. The firm was required to pay around $37million as community benefit fund contributions as per the terms of its gaming license. IPI insisted that it made the contributions
with the expectation that it will be granted the public land needed to start the next phase of our project plan.
CNMI Senator Paul Manglona said to the media that nowhere in the agreement there is mention of public land being leased out to the firm in return for the payment of fund contributions.