NagaCorp flags expansion in key Cambodian cities

By Charlotte Lee Updated
Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp boasts big profits

More integrated resorts could be coming to the towns of Siem Reap and Sihanoukville in Cambodia as a major casino investor has flagged interest in expanding.

GGR Asia reports NagaCorp is interested in integrated resort development in the towns, to complement its existing casino complex in the country’s capital Phnom Penh.

An integrated resort is a large-scale complex featuring a casino, in addition to tourism and conference facilities.

The term is also used to describe a resort with the latter features, but no casino.

Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp, which has a long-last casino monopoly in the Cambodian capital, mentioned its expansion aspirations in its interim results, published last Thursday.

“It is the intention of the group to be perceived as a more comprehensive and quality integrated resort developer with emphasis also on non-gaming as a source of revenue,” the company stated.

It added: “We anticipate that the non-gaming and gaming IR will co-exist with each other in a mutually beneficial manner.”

NagaCorp further noted: “It is the intention of the group to explore viable and profitable IR development in the Siem Reap and Sihanoukville areas. At that point in time, we believe the group will gain a foothold as a strategic, sizeable and comprehensive world-class IR developer to help promote tourism in the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

Siem Reap is near Cambodia’s UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat, which prior to the pandemic was a popular international tourist attraction.

The coastal city of Sihanoukville has grown rapidly in recent years, spurred significantly by Chinese investment in real estate projects, some linked to gaming.

NagaCorp is currently developing a Russian Far East casino resort scheme, at the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone, near the pacific port of Vladivostok.

The aim is to “commence operations by 2022,” according to the group’s earnings filing.

The company is also expanding again its existing NagaWorld complex.

Naga3 has a US$3.52 billion price tag, according to statements made by the group.

NagaCorp announces Cambodian reopening

Land-based casino operator NagaCorp has announced the reopening of its entire Cambodian estate, following a period of temporary closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

iGaming Business reported in July that in June, NagaCorp signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health, enabling its flagship NagaWorld Cambodia casino to recommence activities on July 8.

This formed part of a pilot project ahead of a proposed wider reopening of its casino venues across the country.

NagaCorp and the Ministry have now attached an annexure to the memorandum of understanding, whereby it will be able to reopen its other casino businesses across Cambodia, including all pokies machines and VIP gambling services.

The operator said that it would continue to adhere to the terms set out under the original memorandum, including providing isolation rooms for customers, enforcing distancing and placing sanitiser and other safety equipment around the location.

Masks and temperature checks will also be required for guests and staff and the operator’s casinos.

NagaWorld to reopen in Cambodia following virus closure

Cambodia’s largest casino operator partially reopened its flagship Phnom Penh gaming venue in July following its three-month COVID-19 shutdown.

Calvin Ayre reported that NagaCorp had decided, in agreement with Cambodia’s Ministry of Health, to reopen the company’s VIP table game and pokie machine elements at its NagaWorld casino.

Mass market gaming operations will reopen at an unspecified later date.

NagaCorp claims the agreement was signed with the government on June 30, four days prior to the government officially announcing its decision to permit the country’s casino to reopen.

The government ordered all casinos to close on April 1 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

NagaWorld’s restart was subject to the Ministry approving certain health and safety measures, which reportedly occurred following a physical inspection of the casino on July 4.

Pokies capacity will be reduced to 50 per cent, while gaming tables will be limited to three customers apiece – effectively 43 per cent capacity and no ‘standing’ bets will be permitted.

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