Alter City Group Applies for Tax Benefits for Construction of Tinian Casino Resort

Macau-based Alter City Group, which was given the nod by the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission to operate a $1.2-billion hotel and casino resort on Tinian, said that is contemplating on the possibility to open a temporary casino until its main project is completed.

The developer was granted the necessary gambling license in January. Back then, Ken Lin, Managing Director of Alter City, told media that their project is not just “a piece of paper living in [their] drawers for the next few days” and that they have a long-term plan for the development of the integrated resort. And as mentioned above, the company is considering the launch of a temporary casino, thus getting the gambling industry back on the Northern Mariana island.

Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino was the only casino in Tinian. However, it was shuttered in August 2015, following a bankruptcy filing. The venue was later on purchased by a casino company named Tinian Entertainment Company. The new owner submitted an application for bringing the casino back in business.

Apart from plans for opening a temporary casino on Tinian, while its main one is under construction, Alter City also said that it had applied for full tax benefits offered by the Commonwealth Development Authority, or rather the full amount that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ qualifying certificate program allows.

The casino developer said that if it is granted the said benefits, it would not use them to cover casino operations as these would likely be contracted to a third party. Yet, the company explained that the qualifying certificate is seen as an important element in its long-term investment plan for the construction of the integrated resort.

Mr. Lin pointed out that the benefits will be used during construction work to cover import and export costs, among other things. Alter City CEO Edvon Sze further explained that their application has nothing to do with the gambling venue itself and that the money will be used to ensure the completion of the project not its subsequent operation.

Plumeria Golf and Casino is planned to be established at Puntan Diablo on the island of Tinian. Upon completion, it will feature about 5,000 guest rooms, villas, a casino, numerous retail options, a theme park, and many more. The whole property will spread over 150 hectares of land but the construction area will take up 63 hectares. Phase 1 of the integrated resort is expected to be rolled out in 2019.

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