Tigre de Cristal casino resort to see a massive 81 percent jump in GGR for 2021
Summit Ascent Holdings was given a strong vote of confidence by Credit Suisse, due to the backing of Suncity Group, with gross gambling revenue projected to surge 349 percent next year, as the holding’s major shareholder impacts further on development, writes Sharon Singleton, Asia Gaming Brief Managing Editor.
Analysts at Credit Suisse reckon that Summit Ascent’s performance is from a relatively small scale and takes a breather from such heady forecasts with the saver that number would keep to 2-4 percent of Suncity’s pre-Covid 19 level GGR. However, analysts expect Russia’s Tigre de Cristal casino resort to see a massive 81 percent jump in GGR for 2021, making the company a strong contender for the best performer in the region.
Tigre de Cristal is the first casino in Russia’s Far East Primorye Development Zone, and is developing stage 2 to become the best casino and entertainment hub in the region, and a long way in front of the second casino in the zone opened, the Shambhala, which opened last month. A third delayed property, owned by Cambodian group NagaCorp, is scheduled to open in 2022.
Tigre de Cristal attracted 941,000 visitors last year from North Asia, particularly the Korean market, keeping good progress from 2014, when visitors was just over 100,000. According to Credit Suisse, even without international visitators, the resort has seen strong support from the local mass market.
More importantly though, when locking horns with the Macau market Summit Ascent has several advantages over its China competitor, with no license renewal risk, and the ability to hold its permit indefinitely. Also, and perhaps more important from the marketing programme investment side, gaming tax in Prymorye is as low as 2 percent compared with 39 percent in Macau.
Once the premium international market does return, the property will have the benefit of access to Suncity’s 180,000-strong database. Credit Suisse notes: “It is estimated it has direct connections with 30 percent of these gaming patrons. This offers the unparalleled opportunity for Summit Ascent to tap into the vast database and build its direct VIP business as well as premium mass business in the not yet fully developed market.”
Summit Ascent this month increased its stake in the Russian company that operates Tigre de Cristal through a share acquisition and subscription exercise, upping investment to 67.5 percent and rising to 77.5 percent after a new shareholding subscription exercise with the possibility that the company’s stake could reach as high as 89.3 percent, if other investors choose to not take up their subscription rights.
The capital raising will provide a further US$65 million for the Phase 2 development of Tigre de Cristal. The next phase will triple gaming capacity and is due to begin opening in stages from 2022.