Asian casino operator, NagaCorp, reported Monday that its Cambodian integrated resort, NagaWorld, recorded a US$117 million handle in Q1 2023. The gross revenue level generated from the resort in the three-month period is 6.8% higher than the level achieved over the same period last year.

Increased GGR from Naga World:

The increased handle is reported despite the poor performance of both the mass market and Premium VIP segments, but the adjusted EBITDA of US$59 million remained at the same levels as those seen in 2022 for this reason. Although the mass market volumes arrived at 81% of pre-COVID levels with table buy-ins amounting to $9.77 million, table games win rate fell from 19.6% to 16.8% and resulted in gross generated revenue of $76.6 million, which was 3.9% lower in Q1 2023 than the same period last year.

Likewise, NagaWorld’s Premium VIP (direct VIP) segment grew significantly in Q1 2023 in comparison with the previous quarter and achieved a turnover of $10.8 million. The figure representing a 43.9% year-on-year growth  “may be due to [the company’s] successful conversion of previous referral VIP players into direct Premium VIP players,” as NagaCorp reportedly suggested.

Table Games and Premium VIP Win Rate Fell:

The daily handle of the segment reached 90.2% of pre-COVID levels but – like table games – the segment win rate fell from 4.3% to 3.5% on a year-on-year basis to generate $28.6 million gross gaming revenue, which was 11.9% higher in the first three months of 2023 than the same period in 2022. Unlike the Premium segment, Referral VIP recorded a 118% higher daily turnover to generate a total of $11.8 million in revenue which is a figure as much as 176% higher than the revenue generated from the Naga World venue in Q1 2022.

Referral VIP Segment Soared:

As Inside Asian Gaming reports, NagaCorp said: “The Company witnessed the increasing headcounts of the Referral VIP Market, especially from our neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. We will continue to develop the Referral VIP Market by identifying and recruiting more reputable referral VIP agents.”

Return of International Visits:

Based on the Q1 2023 financial result, the company understands that the Referral segment performed much better than the Premium segment as a large turnover may often be expected from a huge number of small bets rather than a small number of huge bets which may lower the win rate. The company recognized the return of international visitors to Cambodia as a key factor for NagaWorld’s improving figures and expects that the gradually rising visits of Chinese players will further boost the revenues in the resort.

The company reportedly said: “As China only effected Cambodia’s Approved Destination Status on 6 February 2023, the management believes that the recovery of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia is in its early stages.”