The chief executive of border casino operator Donaco International Ltd, Lee Bug Huy, says the group’s DNA Star Vegas casino property (pictured in a file photo), on Cambodia’s frontier with Thailand, “is now looking for further junket operators and to increase visitors to the casino”.
His comments were made in the company’s annual report, published last week.
“Star Vegas commenced a gradual return to steady operations following its reopening in June 2022, aided by the Cambodia-Thai borders reopening,” stated Mr Lee.
Since the property’s operations had resumed, “a number of strategic initiatives took place,” he added. “Gaming machine arrangements were restructured, retail outlets were introduced and agreements reorganised with junket operators.”
Donaco reported net revenue of AUD24.3 million (US$15.5 million) in the financial year to June 30, compared to AUD2.4 million in the previous year. The company also runs the Aristo International Hotel, a casino property on Vietnam’s border with China.
The Australia-listed firm posted positive earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AUD9.6 million, versus a AUD4.4-million EBITDA loss in the prior year.
“Financial year 2023 was a return to normality for Donaco following previous challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Lee in the latest annual report.
The CEO also said that Aristo received a higher number of Chinese customers during the latest financial year, “as the Vietnam-China borders fully reopened in January 2023”.
Mr Lee stated that during the period, Aristo “reduced the minimum turnover requirement” for entities to qualify as an active junket operator, from CNY6 million (US$830,914) to CNY3 million.
“The move encouraged the return of junket operators, accelerating traction in VIP visitors, and contributed to Aristo’s gaming and non-gaming revenue,” he added.
Mr Lee said he expected “travel flows” between Thailand and Cambodia, as well as between Vietnam and China “to continue to ramp up”, benefitting the group’s operations.
“As we continue to manage the business, we expect a recovery to accelerate into the financial year 2024,” he stated.
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