Tinian Dynasty Remains Closed

The shuttered Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino in the Marianas Islands did not reopen as planned December 15. Dynasty’s general manager said the opening was postponed because there are no gaming commissioners in place to inspect the property.

Closed due to typhoon

The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino, closed last September because of a typhoon that restricted travel, did not reopen as scheduled December 15. According to Marianas Variety, General Manager Christopher Bishop said the staff learned about the decision just three hours before the doors were set to open.

“The main reason I was told was that there was no budget approved for the Tinian Gaming Commission, so they didn’t have anyone to send to inspect and oversee the reopening of the casino,” Bishop said. “We did our part and we were prepared for the reopening, but the decision is with the gaming commission.”

That commission does not yet formally exist; in November, Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas has nominated five people to serve on the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.

Typhoon Soudelor “did not affect Tinian as much as it did Saipan,” Bishop added. “We were affected because visitors to Tinian had to pass through the Saipan International Airport.”

In related news, according to the World Casino Directory, last month a U.S. federal court issued a default judgment against Tinian Dynasty in a criminal conspiracy case that included more than 100 violations of anti-money laundering statutes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell H. Lorfing said no one appeared to defend the funds, and no one contested the forfeiture of $2.5 million.

In July, Tinian Dynasty owner Hong Kong Entertainment Overseas Investments Ltd. made a deal to avoid prosecution, and criminal charges were dropped at the request of the U.S. government, WCD reported. HKE is now under new ownership, and the new owners also agreed to the deal.

Since then, HKE has filed for bankruptcy, listing assets that amount to just 20 percent of liabilities. Lucia Blanco-Maratita, ‎executive director of the nascent gaming commission, said the property cannot reopen until Spectrum Gaming verifies it will be on the island and in charge of operations.