CNMI casino downplays China's move against gambling destinations

Monday 30th November 2020

The Saipan casino licensee is downplaying a decision by the Chinese Communist Party to blacklist cross-border gambling tourism destinations that could include the Northern Marianas.

Imperial Pacific International Chief Executive Officer, Donald Browne, said the recent decision might not affect the CNMI since gambling had existed there in the form of poker establishments and the now defunct Tinian Casino even before his company set up on Saipan.

Mr Browne was also not alarmed since IPI's market didin't solely rely on customers from China, as even before the Covid-19 pandemic, a little less than half of its customers were from other markets.

He said he believed the Chinese government's sentiment in banning gambling tourism was related to wiring money for gambling uses, which was not allowed in China.

Chinese gamblers spend an estimated $US145 billion a year on illegal gambling sites, mostly in the Philippines.

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