Phnom Penh, Cambodia – NagaCorp, a Hong Kong listed company of the NagaWorld, opens its $94-million Naga City Walk for high rollers, tourists and the public in September 2016.
The luxury mall is the first underground retail-shopping center that will attract more gamblers to the country.Chairman Timothy McNally told CNBC that the mall would be an outlet for premium branded products. He added that they are operating Naga City Walk as a luxury retail-shopping outlet that will also cater to the tourism growth of the Kingdom.
[A little background: The Company acquired the Citywalk Group, the owner of the NagaCity Walk, which is an underground way that connects the Naga2 and the NagaWorld Hotel, for a whopping amount of $94M.]
By 2020, 7.5 million tourists are expected to flock the country. Arrivals in the international airport in the first six months of 2016 were up by 10% as compared to the same period last year. A majority of the tourists were from Vietnam (19%) and China (16%).
To support the country’s tourism growth, the Ministry of Tourism devised a 5-year strategy to attract Chinese gamblers and tourists to the country with an objective to get two million of them visiting each year by 2020.
[In the first four months of 2016, Chinese tourist arrivals reached about 275,000, a figure, which was up by 13.6% versus the same period last year.]
With this latest tourist attraction, experts expect more arrivals from China, and neighboring countries, including Thailand, and they assume that it will strengthen the company’s position as one of the leaders in the entertainment and gaming industry in both the Mekong region and Southeast Asia.
The new mall offers luxury, duty-free shopping, with the China Duty Free Group, as its main tenant. It is a subterranean shopping mall built to provide another source of entertainment for gamblers when they’re not at the tables or playing in an online casino when in the Kingdom, and it is aimed at high rollers who visit the country, both for online gambling as well as live dealer and machine gaming.
The strategy is a part of the expansion that the NagaWorld is planning, including its Naga2 development project amounting to $369 million, which is set for opening next year. The latest multiuse complex will house about 1,000 hotel rooms as well as provide an additional gaming space for 500 electronic gaming machines, slot machines included, and 300 gaming tables, and it will be only a stone-throw away from the casino premises.
The downturn in the gaming sector of Macau, one of Phnom Penh’s biggest rivals in the casino industry, has opened doors of opportunities for NagaCorp, allowing them to penetrate both the mass and VIP gaming markets in the region. And with the low-cost structure that they’re taking advantage of, they are able to offer better commercial terms to their agents and junkets that have signed up with them this year.
Additionally, their results were boosted by the increase visits of wealthy Chinese to the Kingdom, increasing to more than 24% year-on-year, along with the continued economic growth last year, not mentioning that the International Monetary Fund projected its GDP to grow by more than 7 percent.
About Naga City Walk
Naga City Walk is a retail shopping mall occupying 13,000 square meters, housing premium brands, including Lancôme, Gucci, Estée Lauder and SK-II, and it is by NagaCorp, which is the largest leisure, gambling and hotel operator in the Kingdom, that has been listed on the HK Stock Exchange since 2006. It is built at its main casino hotel, the NagaWorld, which attracts thousands of Chinese visitors each year, forestalling competition from Macau.