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Elixir profits get Naga boost

US slots firm sees revenues rise 26pc in Q4 as NagaWorld income hits $1.5m

INCREASED revenues from slot machines at Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Hotel and Casino contributed strongly to dramatic fourth quarter growth at Las Vegas-based Elixir Gaming, its CEO said Tuesday.

Elixir Gaming – which runs machines across the Asia-Pacific region and currently owns 560 slots at the Cambodian capital’s only licensed casino complex – posted its fourth quarter results during a conference call recorded on Tuesday night in the United States.

Elixir CEO and Chairman Clarence Chung said in a webcast that the business’ total revenues for the fourth quarter improved 26 percent on quarter three to US$4.5 million. Of this, $2.5 million was garnered from gaming revenue, a quarter-on-quarter rise of 34 percent, mostly from NagaWorld.

Chief Accounting Officer Andy Tsui added that slot revenue from its operations at NagaWorld rose to $1.5 million in quarter four, up from third quarter 2009 levels of $1.1 million. Average net win per unit was $196 for the fourth quarter, up from $187.

Chung went on to explain that Elixir has dramatically driven up the number of gaming machines it owns, focusing on venues set to give the “greatest potential return on our gaming assets”.

“A strong contributor to our success has been our operator-partner relationship with NagaWorld, our sole venue in operations in Cambodia,” he said.

In February, Elixir announced that 200 extra gambling equipment would be placed at NagaWorld over the next six months, raising the total number of company-owned units from 440 to 640.

Under the deal – in which Elixir agreed to pay NagaWorld a $5.48 million commitment fee and contract amendment fee – the companies would share revenue from the machines.

Chung confirmed that: “We have increased a number of units at NagaWorld to 560 as of mid-February and are on track to reach 640 during the second quarter of 2010.”

He praised the “aggressive growth” in winnings at the Cambodian casino, saying: “We attribute this to our targeted marketing efforts to build strong customer loyalty, the right machine mix, and the benefit of the closure of all slot clubs previously operating in the Phnom Penh region early in 2009.”

Looking to the future, the Elixir CEO said that the company hopes to expand its operations in existing markets – including Cambodia. It is seeking to become an operator in key areas, which include the Kingdom’s border areas with Thailand and Vietnam.

In recent months, millions of dollars-worth of investment has been evident in casinos opening in border towns.

A new $100 million four-star casino-hotel complex, Titan King Resort and Casino, was opened last month in Bavet City in Svay Rieng province, and earlier this year the Top Diamond Casino opened in Kirivong district, Takeo province.

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