NagaCorp envisages Naga 3 with more non gaming

NagaCorp, which operates the NagaWorld casino in Cambodia, envisages adding a third phase to its resort with more non-gaming attractions as tourism to the country grows.

Speaking at the MGS Gaming Summit, Naga Chairman Tim McNally said the next expansion phase for the resort would include more hotel facilities, but would likely also add attractions such as a theme park or water park to enhance its appeal to the growing mass market sector across Asia.

“I can say without a formal announcement yet, you will see a Naga 3 from us. It’ll be additional hotel facilities and may be a water park or a theme park because in the long run, Cambodia is a reasonable cost destination,” he said.

“It just can’t be gaming, or a normal integrated resort as you have to compete with others in the region, so our masterplan will include non-gaming attractions that will draw a large number of people from the surrounding region, particularly south east asia where there is an undersupply,” he said on a panel session.

McNally pointed out that tourism has been developing fast in Cambodia, with about 5 million tourist arrivals projected for this year, with 800,000 of those from China. That’s up from 4,775,231 in 2015, which in turn was a more than 6 percent increase from the prior year.

According to projections, Chinese outbound travel is expected to grow from about 80 million tourists a year at present to more than 200 million  in coming years. However, Naga is competing with a growing number of integrated resorts springing up around Asia, from Vladivostok to the Philippines and Nepal.

At present, Naga, which has an exclusive license to operate in the capital Phnom Penh has 15 food and beverage outlets and will add another 1,100 rooms in mid-2017 as Naga 2 comes on line as well as additional restaurants and spas.

In the nine-months to end September, the group reported an 11 percent rise in VIP rollings to $6.6 billion, while mass table buy ins rose 13 percent to $456.5 million. Revenue from electronic gaming machines jumped 15 percent.

McNally also said he expected Cambodia’s new gaming regulations to be published by the end of this year or early next and are unlikely to contain any “major surprises.”

Although the new rules are likely to involve some adjustment to the current tax regime, he said he expected Cambodia to remain very competitive.