According to Citi analysts, Cambodia’s NagaWorld casino will continue to benefit from Vietnam’s ban on local gambling.
Cambodia.- Citigroup Global Markets Inc is convinced that Vietnam’s stance against allowing locals to gamble will continue to benefit the NagaWorld casino, located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In addition, NagaCorp, the company which operates the casino recently opened out the NagaCity Walk shopping complex which is linked to the NagaWorld casino.
Only foreign tourists are allowed to gamble at Vietnam’s casinos as locals are currently banned from gambling facilities. Although there have been attempts in the past to lift the ban on local gambling so far nothing has changed. Vietnam’s central government had prepared a national draft decree on the gaming industry. However, the draft once again stipulates that locals shall not be allowed to gamble.
“In our view, if the Vietnamese government maintains the status quo on its gaming laws and regulations, it could be a major overhang removed for NagaWorld,” stated Anil Daswani, George Choi and Aras Poon, analysts from Citigroup. “Players from Vietnam represent around 10 percent to 20 percent of NagaWorld’s mass players, on our estimates, and we believe NagaWorld will continue to see Vietnamese players crossing borders and gaming in Cambodia.”
On the other hand, Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd, a brokerage firm, believes that if the Vietnam government continues to maintain its gambling ban on locals, it will hurt the country’s chances of attracting foreign investment from integrated casino operators who were looking to develop new casinos in Vietnam.