Will the Western Pacific island of Saipan become the next gambling mecca in Asia?
Asian junket operator, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, believes so enough to gamble in a big way as they have decided to invest $3 billion in a casino resort complex in Saipan. Right before announcing their investment plan, the Imperial Pacific secured a 25-year casino license to operate on the island by the government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Northern Mariana Islands is one of two commonwealths of the United States, along with Puerto Rico and, and gambling has become very popular among the tourists visiting Puerto Rico. The junket operator is now betting that Saipan could soon follow the same trend.
Imperial Pacific already invests in one of the largest junkets in Macau, the Hengsheng Group junket. Like many Asian-based operators, they have been scouring Asia looking for the ideal spot to diversify since Macau is beginning to decline primarily due to weakening economic conditions in China and the government's crackdown on corruption.
Will Saipan Attract Asian Gamblers?
Macau and Singapore have both had great success with casinos, notoriously bringing in some of the loosest and wealthiest gamblers throughout Asia. PokerNews recently reported on the growing gambling market in the Philippines, as Manila is steadily confirming its role as the third biggest Asian gaming spot.
Given Imperial Pacific's experience in the industry and the particular location of their new project, it doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that there will be success in Saipan once this casino is built. The island appears to be an ideal spot for a new gaming mecca since it is only a five-hour flight away from Shanghai, and can provide some of Asia's wealthiest players with a place to vacation and gamble at the same time.
Stay tuned at PokerNews as more news develops in the Asian gambling marketplace.
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