BUSINESS

NagaCorp Q3 looks good; Russian casino zone disappoints; AGTech milestone

TAGs: AGTech, Cambodia, global gaming asset management, Lucky Racing, NagaCorp, primorsky territory, Russia

nagacorp-agtech-russiaNagaCorp Ltd., operator of NagaWorld, the lone casino in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, has reported unaudited operational highlights for the first nine months of 2012. Compared to the same period in 2011, business volumes at NagaWorld’s public floor gaming tables rose 35% to US $249m, while electronic gaming machine bills-in were up 25% to $718m and junket VIP rollings rose 18% to $2.9b. The company credited the across the board growth to the opening of three premium mass-gaming areas since Q4 2011 and its continued focus as a “low-end VIP destination” in keeping with Phnom Penh’s “relatively low cost entertainment options.” NagaCorp’s luxury bus program between NagaWorld and Ho Chi Minh City definitely helped, as Vietnamese nationals contribute 22% of total visitors to Cambodia. The company plans to open a Vietnamese-focused gaming area called Saigon Palace by the end of 2012. The company also recently opened a marketing office in Bangkok to help lure more Thai punters.

NagaCorp is one of only two foreign companies – William Weidner’s Las Vegas-based Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) being the other – to beat Friday’s deadline for filing requests-for-concept applications for the resort casino hub Russia hopes to construct near the port of Vladivostok. Three Russian firms – Concept, Diamond Fortune Holdings and the Royal Time Group – have also applied to set up shop in the Primorsky Integrated Entertainment Zone. Given that the project was originally touted as hosting up to 17 gaming joints, the turnout of applicants would appear underwhelming. But Alexander Chkheidze, the deputy general director of Nash Dom Primorye (the firm that’s supervising the project) says other companies are still interested. Chkheidze told GamblingCompliance that two of the Russian applicants “are basically in talks” with Melco Crown Entertainment and a Genting subsidiary. “They have some kind of memorandum of understanding … so in a couple of weeks they should be finished and we will know if they are going together or if it is just the Russian companies.”

AGTech Holdings Ltd. says its Lucky Racing product, the computer-simulated Formula 1-style racing game that is broadcast to over 1,500 Chinese lottery shops via cable TV, has bucked the downward trend that has recently hit sports lottery products across China. Lucky Racing was introduced in Hunan province in September 2011 via AGT, AGTech’s joint venture with UK bookies Ladbrokes. A year later, Lucky Racing has exceeded RMB 1.3b (US $206.6m) in sales in Hunan, helping boost the province’s August sports lottery sales up 74.6% over the previous year. To celebrate, AGTech is rolling out three new betting options for the game: Group First Two, Group First Three (pick the top-two or top-three cars to finish) and Big-Small/Odd-Even (divides the field of 12 cars into four groups: low-even numbers, high-even numbers, low-odd numbers, etc.).

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