China blacklist not concerning Imperial Palace Saipan owner 

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
China blacklist not concerning Imperial Palace Saipan owner 

The chief executive of the temporarily shuttered Imperial Palace Saipan has told local officials that he is indifferent to China’s blacklist of overseas tourist destinations.

World Casino Directory reports that Donald Browne said China’s decision has “nothing to do” with his company and is instead motivated by China’s wish to bolster its domestic tourism market and stop funds flowing out of the country.

Although the composition of the foreign destination blacklist has yet to be officially revealed, suspicion abounds that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where Imperial Pacific International is located, could be involved.

This would subject Chinese nationals travelling to the American territory for the purposes of gambling to a range of strict capital outflow protocols.

Browne told the chairman for the Commonwealth Casino Commission that China was concerned about the wiring of domestic cash overseas, so it created the blacklist.

“China wouldn’t make the determination to place the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on a blacklist based on these things.”

“It really has nothing to do with us because there was already gambling here before.”

The Imperial Palace Saipan development was especially popular with Chinese gamblers prior to coronavirus causing its closure in March.

The Hong Kong-headquartered firm was already struggling to pay its employees and is facing the prospect of having its Saipan casino licence revoked if it cannot begin meeting its financial obligations to a plethora of local vendors, reports claimed.

TAB takes coronavirus hammering

Australia’s largest online gambling company, Tabcorp, has taken a battering from the cancellation of major sporting events and the shutdown licenced venues and TAB agencies where many of its client’s punt.

Business News Australia reported in April that new and obscure sport betting options like Belarusian Premier League and Tajikistan men’s basketball have been unable to compensate for loss of revenue that would normally come from the world’s most popular competitions in Australia and around the world.

The state of affairs led to the group temporarily standing down more than 700 employees to 30 June in businesses where there is no work due to coronavirus-related closures.

A further 160 technology contractors have also been let go, representing a cut of 40 per cent.

Business-as-usual expenditure for the current half is expected to be down by a quarter at around $120 million and Tabcorp has expanded its banking facilities through an additional $226 million short-term facility payable in mid-2021.

Managing director and TAB chief executive David Attenborough has also taken a 20 per cent fixed remuneration pay cut until the end of the financial year.

“This continues to be a very challenging time for our people, businesses, partners and the community,” says Mr Attenborough.

“We are committed to working proactively and collaboratively with all our stakeholders so that we can collectively emerge from the coronavirus period as strongly as possible.”

Meanwhile, chairman and non-executive director fees have been reduced by 10 per cent, following on from an earlier 10 per cent cut in September last year.

Tabcorp highlights its lotteries and keno and wagering and media digital channels are operations, as well as its lotteries retail network of newsagents, convenience stores and other outlets.

Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings in Australia, except Tasmania, continue to run in accordance with strict state government biosecurity and public health restrictions.

Fees owed in April by venues under Sky Racing, Tab, Keno and MAX contracts have been suspended and will be reviewed monthly.

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