Saipan’s Gaming Authority Focusing On Close Scrutiny of Junkets

October 20, 2016 by Natalie Whitehead

saipanSaipan’s gaming regulator, the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) is closely scrutinizing applications from junket operators who are interested in partnering with the sole casino operator of the island, Best Sunshine International Ltd.

Saipan is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI ). Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific and its subsidiary Best Sunshine International Ltd currently operates the Best Sunshine Live casino on the island. The casino is currently operating as a temporary casino as Best Sunshine International builds its $7 billion integrated casino resort the Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort, which is likely to open in part, in the first quarter of 2017.

The CCC has said that it is still in the process of reviewing applications from junket operators interested in working with the casino. So far only one junket operator, Big Bang Entertainment has been approved to work with Best Sunshine. Big Bang primarily brings in VIP clients from Korea and Japan.

Junket operators bring in VIP clients from different countries to the casinos they are contracted with. These wealthy players are given preferential treatment by the casino with a wide range of perks like open credit, free accommodation or access to special services. A key reason for the tremendous success of Best Sunshine Live has been its success with VIP customers.

Edward Deleon Guerrero CCC executive director said that the regulatory body was carrying out rigorous background checks before granting approval which had resulted in the rejection of several applications.

In a statement, Edward Deleon Guerrero said,

We have 17 other applicants but we took some of them and we turn them back. There are certain areas that they are missing and have not yet completed or complied with. Some of them have re-submitted their applications. We are still going through with the vetting process.

Deleon Guerrero stated that the current system is similar to what the Best Sunshine casino adopts to vet VIP players. The casino conducts a comprehensive background check that includes reviewing their credit, wealth and litigation status for VIP players. A similar stringent process is adopted by the operator for establishing if the applicant junket operator is credit worthy. If the junket is found worthy, a letter of intent is issued after which the CCC starts its review process.

A provisional license can be issued by the CCC to a junket operator even as the background checks continue. The CCC stated that it had rejected a number of junket operator applications due to insufficient information and confirmed that many of those applications who were rejected had resubmitted their application with additional information.