Cambodian gaming operator NagaCorp has announced that it is pushing back the completion date of its $3.5 billion Naga 3 project in Phnom Penh by four years, to September of 2029, as opposed to the previous completion date of September 2025.
In a stock exchange filing on Sunday, NagaCorp indicated that the group was ‘seriously considering options of developing Naga 3 matching revenue generation with capex expenditure’. This includes a project resize.
The group on Saturday entered into a supplemental agreement to adjust the completion date of the Design and Build Agreement (DBA) to ‘on or before 30 September 2029, subject to other further adjustments which may be mutually agreeable between Naga 3 Company Limited and the Contractor’.
The group notes that the date change is ‘in view of the external geopolitical macroeconomic environment and the stiff global inflationary pressures’.
The third phase of NagaWorld is expected to elevate the resorts offerings to 5,000 hotel rooms, 1,300 gaming tables and 4,500 electronic gaming machines, with 93 percent of the floor space to be devoted to non-gaming. The initial projected cost for the Naga 3 extension was $3.5 billion.
Naga 3 is not the only project to have suffered a delay – as NagaCorp’s plans for an IR in Russia’s Primorye region have been shelved indefinitely.
The group recorded a 3.3 percent yearly drop in EBITDA in 1Q23, to $59.02 million, ‘due to an increase in staff cost and luck factor’.
This came despite a 6.8 percent rise in gross gaming revenue, to $116.99 million, with the mass market contributing the majority, at $76.62 million in GGR, while premium VIP brought in $28.58 million and referral VIP brought in $11.78 million in GGR.
The group notes it has been successful in the conversion of its former referral VIP players into direct Premium VIP players, with average daily rolling from the segment in the quarter recovering to 90.2 percent ‘compared to FY2019’ and average daily business volumes for Premium VIP achieving the ‘highest levels since the first quarter of 2020’.
NagaCorp has been in the headlines recently for various reasons.
One includes the jailing of a workers union president representing workers from the group’s NagaWorld property – given two years for her role in a strike starting in December 2021.
NagaCorp’s founder, Chen Lip Keong, also made headlines as one of Malaysia’s richest individuals, according to Forbes – with a net worth of $2.8 billion, making him the country’s seventh-richest.
NagaCorp holds the only license to operate casinos in the Phnom Penh region until 2045.