NagaCorp opens office in Vladivostok ahead of Primorye launch

Asian casino investor NagaCorp Ltd says it has set up a representative office in the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok to assist with the group’s construction of a casino resort in the nearby Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ).

The news was given in the company’s annual report filed on Thursday with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“Based on the current state of development, our gaming and resort development project in Vladivostok, Russia remains broadly on schedule for operation by 2019,” said the firm’s chairman Timothy McNally in commentary in the report.

“We have established an office at the city centre and a number of key personnel have been appointed to monitor various aspects of the progress of the project,” the chairman added in his remarks.

“We believe our strategy to diversify our business geographically and expand into new casino markets will drive revenue growth in the long term,” noted Mr McNally.

In October last year, the chairman had told GGRAsia that the firm wascompleting the piling work on its Russia resort. A first-phase cost for the Primorye scheme of between US$50 million and US$70 million had been mentioned in previous commentary by the company.

Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc had said in a March 6 report that the institution expected mass-market table games gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the Primorye IEZ – a special economic zone approved by the Russian federal government and designed to host casino resorts – to show a compound annual growth of 115 percent in the period 2016 to 2020, “reaching US$335 million in 2020”.

The report was initiating the institution’s coverage of Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, which already operates a casino in the zone.

Daiwa stated the GGR growth would be driven by the addition to the zone of other operators including NagaCorp.

The brokerage added: “We look for this growth to be driven by the area’s proximity and accessibility to the underserved North Asian region, as well as a recovering domestic economy resulting in a rising affluence in Russia.”