Photo by: Marisa Reichert
Naga World rises above Phnom Penh on Monday. The capital's sole casino saw its profits increase by 73 percent last year .
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 15:01 Jeremy Mullins
Net profits at Phnom Penh’s sole licensed casino NagaWorld increased by 73 percent last year to US$44.1 million, according to interim annual results which outlined an aim to finish construction on its third wing this year.
Rising profits came from growth of its public floor and gaming machines areas “which resulted in a healthier, more efficient and profitable business mix”, parent company NagaCorp said in its annual results filing on the Hong Kong exchange.
“During this period, 64 percent of our total revenues were derived from these segments, compared to 55 percent for the same period in 2009,” it said.
NagaWorld aims to appeal to the mass market with its third wing, currently under construction, with completion expected for later this year.
The project will house a swimming pool, a health club, offices, and some 220 hotel rooms.
“The hotel rooms will be positioned at a lower price point to appeal to a wider segment of our casino guests,” it said.
The casino and hotel is keen to push for greater regional market share by increasing its mass market appeal in 2011. It claims to have “remodeled” its business partly due to increased tourist arrivals
to Cambodia, while adopting a more conservative approach to junkets.
“This remodelling has focused on a shift in our business mix and has meant build-up of our public floors and gaming machines, driven by market demand,” it said.
It increased the number of slot machines to 1,032 at the end of 2010, from 618 a year earlier.
The firm also adopted a more conservative credit policy and lowered its table limit in 2009 for its junket business.
Junket floor revenues stood at $54 million in 2010, a slight increase on $53.3 million in 2009. Some 7,928 patrons visited the junket floor last year, from 11,368 the year previous.
Ministry of Economy and Finance figures obtained last month showed the Kingdom’s tax revenue from the 20 domestic casinos contributed $16 million to state coffers last year, an increase on $13 million in 2009.
However, some in the industry warned that the gambling sector faces challenges, with further border casinos likely to close. Winn casino in Bavet near the Vietnam border closed in September of last year, while VIP casino shuttered in November.
NagaWorld owns the only licence for operating a casino in Phnom Penh, it said, adding the continued closure of other slot machine and sports betting stations [banned in the capital] had contributed to growth.