It’s unlikely that VIP junkets traditionally based in Macau will in future be hosted in international casino markets, says the chairman of Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd.
“Candidly, I don’t expect we will see a return of the Macau junkets that were a very significant part of our activities at Naga 2,” said Tim McNally (pictured), referring to one of his firm’s casino facilities at NagaWorld, a monopoly gaming operation in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
“That’s the reality going forward, in 2022,” he added, in remarks at the ASEAN Gaming Summit on Tuesday.
The NagaCorp chairman added, referring also to the disruption linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and to the challenge faced by the land-based casino industry generally: “Forget where we were in 2019. It’s a whole new ball game, coming out of Covid. The playing field is equal.”
The casino firm saw a more than six-month pause to NagaWorld operations in 2021, as a countermeasure against the health crisis.
“Now… you have to get out and you have to meet people: you have to sell the relative worth of your own property and your own value. That’s going to take a lot of hard work,” he noted.
Mr McNally stated: “The junket business is going into a different phase, a different realm. People will have to adjust to that. But there’s a golden opportunity for those that work hard, and come up with imaginative ideas. And certainly, we are going to be part of that process.”
Earlier this month, NagaCorp told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange it had returned to first-half profit. It also announced a dividend. It did not pay a dividend in 2021.
Mr McNally told the conference session: “Our first half results for 2022 show that the mass market has experienced an 80.3 percent recovery versus the 2019 pre-Covid business volumes. The premium mass achieved an overall recovery of 71.8 percent of pre-Covid levels.”
He added: “So we are focusing on the mass market, we are focusing on premium mass – and like everybody else, we are going to evolve.”
In terms of “high end players” that had been delivered by junkets, those players would still be acquired, by “whatever new mechanism” would be available, Mr McNally noted.
Though he stated: “We see higher volume across all business segments, including the return of overseas junkets from Malaysia.”
Feb 03, 2023The imminent return of package tours from mainland China will not only help boost Macau’s tourism businesses, but is also expected to help casinos gain more foot traffic in their mass gaming...
Feb 03, 2023
”We are confident that the Philippine gaming sector will be able to fully recover, or even surpass its pre-pandemic earnings soon”
Chairman and chief executive of Pagcor