Star Vegas recovering after Thai vendor spat

Donaco International said the performance of its Star Vegas casino in Cambodia is showing signs of recovery after being hit by illegal competition from operations set up by the property’s former owner.

For the quarter ending March 31, Star Vegas saw average daily visitation increase by 30 percent to 4,462, with visitation in February hitting 4,630, a gain of some 38 percent

Rolling chip turnover was 25 percent lower at THB18.52 billion ($592.6 million), but the company said that was an improvement on the 64 percent decline in the December half.

“The Star Vegas business continues to rebuild, recovering from the damaging effect of the Thai vendor’s breaches of contract and the resulting illegal competition in the Poipet area,” Australia-listed Donaco said. “Management has been successful in signing up a number of new VIP junkets to replace those that left the property last year.”

A “major” new VIP junket, began operations on Feb 9 and turnover that month was up 13 percent at THB8.56 billion. 

The resort is on the border with Thailand and primarily caters to Thai customers.

EBITDA was $8.4m, a decrease of 48 percent, hurt by the VIP volume and also the lower win rate, which was 2.8 percent compared with 3.83 percent in the year ago period.

At its Aristo International property in Vietnam, casino visitation grew 2 percent to 413 people a day.

Rolling chip turnover edged up 1 percent to RMB2,494.7 million, while the win rate fell to 2.3 percent from 2.6 percent.

Non-gaming revenue increased by 10 percent to RMB13.8 million, driven by hotel room and food and beverage sales increases, due to higher visitation and more functions held at the property. EBITDA fell 26 percent to $2.3 million, a decrease of 26 percent.