The mass gaming business at Cambodian integrated resort NagaWorld had staged a near full recovery during the early stages of 2021 before a new COVID-19 outbreak forced the suspension of operations, according to Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp.
Providing a business update for the first quarter on Thursday, NagaCorp revealed that average daily mass table game buy-ins had reached US$3.74 million and EGM bills-in US$5.44 million to start the year, reaching 99.4% and 98.5% of 1Q20 levels respectively.
The relevant period was 1 January until 20 February, when Cambodia’s so-called “20 February event” saw four Chinese nationals bribe their way out of a quarantine hotel and visit a series of nightclubs. Two of those Chinese nationals later tested positive for COVID-19, with the incident ultimately sparking an outbreak that has seen around 2,000 new cases emerge in the six weeks since.
NagaWorld, the only licensed casino within a 200km radius of Phnom Penh, suspended operations on 1 March after 11 staff members tested positive during mass testing.
NagaCorp said Thursday that daily average buy-ins for mass tables and EGMs before the 20 February event had also been 5.2% higher and 3.6% higher respectively than in the second half of 2020, “reflecting a gradual growth trend observed.”
“The recovery of the mass market segment business volumes was largely contributed by a reasonably sized expatriate community and to some extent, visitors from East Asia (mainly from China, South Korea and Taiwan) patronizing NagaWorld in search of entertainment,” NagaCorp said.
“With its attractive and quality facilities and located strategically in the city center, NagaWorld has since its inception been the focal point of leisure and entertainment activities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Despite the regional travel restrictions and reduction in most international flights, the Group’s mass market segment remains stable.”
VIP rolling was not as strong, with a daily average of US$56.6 million equal to just 53.1% of 1Q20 levels – although it still contributed the lion’s share of GGR. NagaWorld reported GGR of US$127.3 million through the three months to 31 March 2021, of which VIP contributed US$80.5 million, mass tables US$29.7 million and EGMs US$17.1 million.