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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   13 August 2013  

Gaming outfit reports loss

Daniel de Carteret

Entertainment Gaming Asia Inc (EGA), a NASDAQ-listed company that supplies NagaWorld Casino with slot machines and operates casinos in Poipet town and Pailin province, reported a net loss of $385,000 from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2013, according to a statement from the company.

“Quarterly performance benefited from strong contribution from our operations in NagaWorld,” Clarence Chung, chairman and chief executive officer of Entertainment Gaming Asia said on August 8. “However, overall results were negatively impacted by lower revenue and high non-recurring costs for the gaming products division primarily due to the relocation of the manufacturing facilities from Australia to Hong Kong during the quarter and a gross margin loss for Dreamworld Pailin.”

Dreamworld Pailin, which opened in May of 2012 in the eponymous northwest province on the Cambodia-Thai border, saw revenues decline to $907,000 in the second quarter from $1.1 million in the first quarter.

The company attributed this to a decline in “player traffic levels”, and is unfurling a revised strategy that focuses on VIP junkets and fewer tables.

“Dreamworld Pailin did not perform up to our expectations for the second quarter,” Chung said in a conference call with investors on August 8, adding that the casino’s financial performance “has been slow”.

Aside from drawing more VIPs, EGA will reduce the number of playing tables from 26 to about 16 and will replace them with electronic gaming tables tailored to individual “mass market” gamblers.

The $7.5 million Dreamworld Poipet in Banteay Meanchey province that opened in May made small contributions to revenues, according to Chung.

“With eight existing casinos in operation, Poipet is an established and growing regional gaming market,” he said. “Given Dreamworld Poipet’s prominent location and targeted marketing program, we are focused on ramping up these operations”.

NagaWorld slot machine profits provided the company with its greatest revenue from Cambodian gaming, contributing $3.7 million in revenue and an average of $256 per machine per day for the second quarter.

EGA attributes a chunk of its losses to the disruption of gaming product manufacturing. A chips and plaque manufacturing facility moved from Australia to Hong Kong during the second quarter of 2013, contributing to a decline.

EGA also has casino operations in the Philippines and has plans to open a Dreamworld casino in Kampot.

Total revenue before operating costs for the second quarter of 2013 was $5.8 million, a decrease of 5 per cent compared with $6.2 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Senior vice-president Traci Mangini did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the decrease in Dreamworld Pailin’s player traffic and the future of the casino in Kampot, which is supposed to open some time in late 2013.

An April presentation posted on EGA’s website details the company’s plans for Dreamworld Kampot to be built near the Cambodia-Vietnam border. With an initial investment of about $1.2 million funded by EGA, construction was supposed to begin in the second half of this year.-The Phnom Penh Post

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