After a year plagued by a range of legal issues and challenges to its customer base, Southeast Asian casino operator Donaco International has begun its road to recovery with both Cambodian IR Star Vegas and Aristo in Vietnam enjoying strong growth in the three months to 31 December 2018.
Group-wide net revenue for the quarter totaled AU$22.5 million, with the company comparing it to revenue of AU$23.7 million in a longer four month period to 30 September 2018.
Group EBITDA for the three months was AU$8.1 million, up from AU$5.2 million reported in the four months to October 2018.
Donaco has spent the past 18 months caught in an ongoing legal dispute with its former Thai business partners, with the Australian-listed firm seeking damages of US$190 million via arbitration proceedings in Singapore after the Thai vendors continued to run gaming operations in defiance of non-compete provisions at Star Paradise, located adjacent to Star Vegas in Poipet.
Despite the setbacks, Donaco reported net revenue of THB421.28 million (US$13.4 million) at Star Vegas in 4Q18 compared with THB470.3 million in the four months to October 2018. EBITDA also grew from THB169.35 million to THB181.04 million.
At Aristo, where operations have been negatively impacted by a Chinese crime syndicate that threatened VIP junkets and customers on the Chinese side of the border, essentially demanding protection money, resolution of the problem has helped rolling chip volume grow 45% to US$81.5 million.
Rolling chip turnover totaled US$169.8 million in 4Q18, up from the US$51.9 million in the four months to October 2018.
“The recovery trend continues, with more junkets and players continuing to return to the property,” Donaco said.