NagaCorp Ltd, operator of the NagaWorld casino resort in Cambodia, has confirmed to GGRAsia that it plans to launch at the venue a 20-table gaming area aimed at “premium players for mass market”, either in “late third quarter or early fourth quarter”.
“The new area will be focused on premium players for mass market, not for junket,” said the Hong Kong-listed company’s management, in response to an enquiry from GGRAsia.
“We expect the premium mass gaming area will be operational in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter,” added the spokesperson.
A recent note from brokerage Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd, with information from the recent Morgan Stanley 2022 Virtual China Summit, had mentioned – citing comment from NagaCorp management – that a “high-limit area in Naga 1 will be launched in second half 2022, which should help the mass recovery” of the gaming business.
The term “Naga 1” in relation to the casino resort complex located in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, concerns the original building (pictured, left), which has been complemented with further development nearby.
The resort’s promoter said the new premium gaming facility involved “reallocation of mass-market gaming spaces” and a “converting” of “some food and beverage space into gaming space”.
“Table minimums start at US$200 with maximums up to US$35,000,” the NagaCorp spokesperson stated. “The new area will help segment players in NagaWorld and provide opportunities for better customer interactions with service and host staff.”
Morgan Stanley had said in its note, that NagaCorp expected mass table gaming and slot revenue to grow sequentially in the second quarter, after such revenue had in the first quarter reached 74 percent of that in the same period in 2019, i.e., pre-pandemic trading.
The institution added however, that “referral VIP” – which Morgan Stanley said had accounted for 36 percent of NagaCorp gross profit in 2019 – “has still not recovered”.
Analysts Gareth Leung and Praveen Choudhary wrote: “This is due to Singapore/Malaysia” visitor volume “being 12 percent/8 percent respectively of the 2019 level in first-quarter 2022.”
The analysts further stated that for March, visitor volume from those places was “15 percent/9 percent” of the same period in 2019.
“We note the number of scheduled international flights into Phnom Penh recovered to 25 percent of the pre-Covid level” for May 19 to 25, versus 9 percent at end-January 2022.”
NagaCorp had posted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$60.5 million for the first three months of 2022. The figure was up 83.3 percent sequentially.
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