Asian casino operator NagaCorp Limited has reportedly indefinitely suspended its plan to bring a $350 million Las Vegas-style gambling development to eastern Russia’s Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort zone.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Hong Kong-listed firm used an official Thursday filing to declare that it now faces ‘various uncertainties’ with regards to realizing its under-construction Naga Vladivostok project and has subsequently been forced to trigger a ‘force majeure clause’ contained within its ‘investment agreement’ so as to ‘suspend its performance thereunder.’
NagaCorp Limited is already responsible for Cambodia’s giant NagaWorld gaming complex and broke ground on its planned first Russian facility in late-May of 2015 with hopes of being able to open the 279-room complex by the end of 2018. However, the source explained that this timetable was subsequently scuppered after local construction workers unearthed some archaeological finds while the operator later disclosed that the first stage of this scheme was now on track to begin welcoming guests by the summer.
In its filing, NagaCorp Limited reportedly proclaimed that it will ‘suspend the development’ of its 592,000 sq ft Naga Vladivostok project ‘indefinitely until the circumstances are clearer’. Although the operator did not purportedly mention any specific reasons behind its move, the source speculated that international condemnation of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine could well lead to reduced levels of regional tourism and have a knock-on effect with regards to foreign investment.
Tim Shepherd from Hong Kong-headquartered Fortuna Investments Worldwide reportedly told the Nikkei Asia news service that the Naga Vladivostok project has become a victim of timing as Russia is now almost certain to face a growing raft of economic sanctions tied to its invasion of Ukraine. The gaming investor purportedly asserted that ‘whatever was good about it five years ago is no longer good’ with NagaCorp Limited widely thought to have already spent over $84 million on the now-stalled development.
Shepherd reportedly asserted…
“Vladivostok is a headache for NagaCorp Limited and this has now given it the option to get out of the large commitment it had made to the project.”
Designed by renowned American architectural firm Steelman Partners, the eleven-story Naga Vladivostok had been due to feature a large gaming floor alongside a 21,500 sq ft multi-purpose concert hall and a sizeable water park. NagaCorp Limited moreover disclosed that it had eventually hoped to add an outdoor pool and utilize the Far East property’s beachfront location in order to offer a range of other pursuits such as yacht tours.
Already home to the 121-room Tigre de Cristal facility from Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Limited, the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Resort zone welcomed the $45 million first stage of the Shambala Casino from local concern Shambala CJSC in October of 2020. The 1,530-acre precinct is one of only five disparate areas in Russia where casino gambling is permitted and could reportedly furthermore play host to a $270 million venue from Diamond Fortune Holdings by the start of 2023.