Reading Time: 1 minute
U.S. Federal Agents raided the offices of the parent company of Imperial Palace, a Chinese company based in Hong Kong which runs a casino in Saipan, the largest island in Northern Marianas. , Northern Marianas is a commonwealth of the United States, around 1400 miles away from The Philippines. The raids have been conducted following reports of bribery by the casino. According to the reports, including those filed by Matthew Campbell, a reporter for Bloomberg News, there is a scandal involving the casino allegedly about bribing Ralph Torres, the governor of the Northern Marianas, and his relatives. Campbell reported the raid as well, quoting the people who witnessed investigators leaving the local office premises of Imperial Palace “with a significant amount of paperwork.” The company denied the reports about the raid. The federal authorities did not confirm the raids either.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings obtained a gaming license in Saipan in 2014. The company will pay $15 million annually to Saipan’s government as license fee. The license will expire only in 2039. The controversy and allegations of bribery arose from the fact the company had no previous casino operating experience.
Campbell asserted that Ralph Torres, governor of the Northern Marianas, and his relatives may be receiving the most direct benefit from Imperial Campbell. He stated that “It (Imperial Pacific) has made millions of dollars in payments to Gov. Ralph Torres’ extended family, including long-term land lease transactions and hiring his brothers’ law firm for its Saipan legal affairs.”
Torres has stated that he and his family have done nothing wrong. Imperial Pacific has also revealed that it is considering a lawsuit against Bloomberg because of these claims.
Source: European Gaming News