Hong Kong-listed casino operator and developer NagaCorp, the parent company of Phnom Penh-based casino NagaWorld, reported profit and revenue were up despite a Covid-19 slowdown.
According to the company’s financial report, profit in the first six months of the year was $20.6 million while Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the first half of 2020 was $372 million.
“We achieved this result despite only three months of gaming business operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” chairman Timothy Patrick McNally said.
McNally said: “While our first-quarter financial results were relatively stable and we fully anticipated a successful second quarter, Covid-19 caused us to cease all gaming operations on April 1.
“That lasted until the Cambodian government authorized us to reopen gaming operations on July 8. Today we continue to operate the largest integrated leisure and gaming entertainment destination in the Mekong Region.”
According to the report, during the first half of 2020, business volume and GGR declined, mainly due to the temporary closure of casino operations in the second quarter.
“This was partially mitigated by our monopoly position in the city of Phnom Penh where there is a visible increase in wealth and a sizable expatriate community – primarily Chinese. Despite softer tourist arrivals during the first half of 2020 visitation to NagaWorld was still relatively good before the temporary closure of casino operations,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the temporary closure of all casino operations in the Kingdom in March. He lifted the ban on July 3, but gambling tables had to be situated at least 1m apart. Group gambling games were prohibited.
According to Naga’report, during the first half of 2020, non-gaming revenue declined primarily due to the temporary closure of casino operations in the second quarter, and the tightening of travel policies in Cambodia and other regional countries, which led to lower occupancy rates and foot traffic.
NagaCorp reported the company is expecting Naga 3 will compliment the existing facilities of Naga 1 and Naga 2, with a quality standard set to rival that of the integrated resorts located in Macau.
Naga 3 is expected to be completed by 2025. The combined NagaWorld complex will have about 5,000 hotel rooms, 1,300 gaming tables and 4,500 electronic gaming machines and other non-gaming attractions. It is expected to be one of the largest integrated entertainment complexes in the world.
“The company believes the launch of Naga 3 is not only timely, but the answer to meet future demand and continue the group’s journey of earnings growth, especially after the recent successful ramping up of Naga 2.
The National Assembly opened the 5th Plenary Session of the 6th Legislature on Monday and approved a draft law concerning the management of the gambling business.
The Law on Trade Gambling is supposed to help maintain political stability, promote security and build national economic infrastructure and facilitate a steady increase in investment in the casino sector.