>> As Beijing cracks down on gambling overseas, Macau's high rollers have found a new playground on American soil.>> I'm Farah Master reporting for Reuters here in Saipan, an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Behind me is one of the most successful casinos right now. It's a test casino, not even one of those massive integrated resorts yet.
But it's producing the same volume of VIP turnover that is seen in Macau. Best Sunshine Casino rakes in ten times what a lavish resort would make in an up and coming Asian gambling hub like the Philippines. Locals and officials tell me the casino's parent, Imperial Pacific, has become the most powerful entity in Saipan after the island's garment industry collapsed and the government fast-tracked approval for the casino.
Now gambling revenues jumped to six times the government's budget, while Best Sunshine pays a fraction of the tax it would in Macau.>> You start talking in terms of $4 billion worth of chips being bent and you wonder if that's even physically possible. And so then it starts leading to more and more questions.
Are we maybe allowing for money laundering? Are we maybe allowing for some shady business to go on there?>> In Hong Kong stock exchange filings, the company says its revenues aren't inflated and it complies with US law. But experts say it won't be long before Chinese authorities start to notice the astronomical numbers coming out of Best Sunshine.
In the mean time, its new casino construction dwarfs near by houses. And it's had a ripple effect throughout the economy. Chinese buyers have snapped up every available property in the last six months. And the casino's already looking at setting up shop in Palau, another remote outpost in the Pacific.