Donaco International to branch out into online gambling in Cambodia

Donaco International to branch out into online gambling in Cambodia

Donaco International to branch out into online gambling in CambodiaCasino operator Donaco International says it plans to branch out into online gambling through its flagship Cambodian casino property.

On Monday, the Australian-listed Donaco filed its annual report for shareholders, which included a note from CEO Joey Lim that Donaco’s Star Vegas casino in Poipet “owns an online gaming license which has yet to be utilized.”

While Lim was short on specifics, he would say that Donaco is “currently exploring the alternatives for the utilization of this license and expect some progress to occur” on this front in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017.

Donaco isn’t entirely unfamiliar with online gambling, having acquired Australian interactive wagering outfit Two Way Ltd back in 2012. Two Way’s chief product was an online odds comparison site known as Way2Bet. Donaco also used to operate a television wagering service called Tab Active, but sold its online business to Aussie wagering operator Tabcorp Holdings in 2014.

Poipet is home to numerous small casinos, many of which offer some form of online gambling. According to recent Ministry of Finance figures, Cambodia has 69 licensed casinos, and many of the most recently issued licenses went to companies whose primary interest was launching an online gambling operation.

Donaco posted a net profit of AUD 77.2m (US $58.2m) in the 12 months ending June 30 compared to a net loss of AUD 2.9m in the previous fiscal year. Contributions from Star Vegas, which Donaco acquired in 2015, were key to the company’s turnaround.

In September, Donaco began managing the new gaming floor at Star Paradise, the property adjoining Star Vegas. Donaco currently earns THB 5m ($144k) per month for managing Star Paradise’s gaming operations and retains an option to purchase the property – including its attached hotel – at a future date, should it determine the transaction would be profitable.