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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tinian casino to close

Tinian casino to close

Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, gdumat-ol@guampdn.com11:20 p.m. ChST September 4, 2015

Two months after federal law enforcement fined Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino $75 million for failing to follow anti-money-laundering procedures, the business is closing down.
Wai Chan, chairman of Hong Kong Entertainment Overseas Investments, the company that owns the casino, wrote to the Tinian Mayor’s Office Sept. 1 stating “insufficient guest arrivals and negative cash flow (have) made it impossible to keep the property operational.”
The hotel and casino didn’t anticipate the losses suffered as a result of Typhoon Soudelor last month, Chan wrote.
The hotel and casino plans to shut down by the end of this month, effectively ending the existence of Tinian’s casino industry.
The 412-room hotel and casino opened in 1998, and described itself as a “five-star” hotel with a casino that’s “the first of its kind in the Western Pacific.”
Before Soudelor slammed Saipan and Tinian, Hong Kong Entertainment had been beset with legal troubles — both criminal and civil — in federal court.
On July 23, as it faced a federal trial in a criminal case, the company staved off prosecution by signing an agreement with federal prosecutors. In the agreement, the business agreed to forfeit $3 million from its bank accounts, cooperate with authorities in subsequent investigations and open its financial books for scrutiny.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is under the U.S. Treasury Department, announced in June that it fined the casino.
The casino’s management “willfully facilitated suspicious transactions and even provided helpful hints for skirting and avoiding the laws in the U.S. and overseas,” Financial Crimes Enforcement Network stated. “Tinian Dynasty’s actions presented a real threat to the financial integrity of the region and the U.S. financial system.”
Tinian Dynasty argued that it wasn’t subject to federal currency transaction reporting, but a federal court shot that down.
Labor cases also have been filed against the casino in federal court.

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