The boss of casino group Donaco International Ltd says the firm is “confident” about the long-term business outlook for its Aristo International Hotel (pictured) at Lao Cai, near Vietnam’s border with China.
In comments to the Vietnam Investment Review news outlet, published on Thursday, Lee Bug Huy, chief executive of Donaco, was quoted as saying regarding Aristo: “We are confident in the long-term outlook for the business. Vietnam has a lot of potential and we are confident that once borders reopen the situation will stabilise.”
Casino industry commentary has in previous years highlighted the ability of Aristo International – a hotel with a casino – to serve gamblers from China.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted regionally in travel restrictions that have posed a challenge to most border-located gaming venues serving customers from neighbouring nations. Additionally, China has been stepping up enforcement action against its own citizens regarding “cross-border” gambling.
Star Vegas Resort and Club, Donaco’s flagship casino resort in Poipet, on Cambodia’s border with Thailand, has been closed since April 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, the “main revenue driver for Aristo comprises the hotel and restaurant,” said Mr Huy.
Donaco had said in a late-October update to the Australian Securities Exchange that third-quarter net revenue at Aristo International had risen sequentially and year-on-year.
Such revenue was AUD710,000 (US$516,873), versus AUD360,000 in the quarter to June 30, and AUD200,000 in the quarter to September 30, 2020.
Mr Huy also told the the Vietnam Investment Review, referring to a picturesque upland town near Lao Cai that is home to a number of local hill tribes: “Sapa is one of the key attractions in the region, and Aristo benefits from its proximity, being the closest hotel to the attraction. Therefore, we are confident in Aristo’s performance from a hotel and restaurant point of view.”
Vietnam recently announced it was reopening its international tourism market on a trial basis.
Noting that local Vietnamese were forbidden to use most of the country’s casino resorts, the Donaco CEO said Aristo was trying to tap fresh sources of regional clientele.
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