In Russia, a lack of available rooms at weekends is reportedly harming business at Tigre De Cristal although the anticipated opening later in the year of nearby hotels without gambling may significantly help trade going forward.

According to a report from GGRAsia citing recent guidance from brokerage firms Union Gaming Securities Asia Limited and Daiwa Securities Group Incorporated, the hotel and casino in the Primorsky Krai gambling zone is also failing to completely exploit its facilities on weekdays.

“The hotel remains capacity constrained on the weekends while midweek isn’t fully utilized,” reportedly read a Friday statement from Union Gaming Securities Asia Limited analyst Grant Govertsen.

Owned by Summit Ascent Holdings Limited and located some 31 miles north of Vladivostok, the Asia-facing Tigre De Cristal opened its $175 million first phase in 2015 complete with 121 hotel rooms and suites as well as a casino offering some 769 slots and 67 gaming tables. The company controlled by Hong Kong-based gaming magnate Lawrence Ho Yau Lung of Melco International Development Limited fame is reportedly planning to inaugurate a second $500 million stage by the second half of 2019 featuring 500 additional rooms in two hotels alongside duty-free shopping, a food court and extra gaming space.

“While hotel room bottlenecks during peak periods have been a concern for management, they expect about 180 hotel rooms to come online within a ten to 20-minute drive from Tigre De Cristal from third-party hotels in 2018, which should help alleviate room supply constraints [and allow] management to better allocate its own property’s rooms to higher-quality players,” reportedly read a Thursday note from Daiwa Securities Group Incorporated analysts Jamie Soo and Adrian Chan.

GGRAsia reported that Summit Ascent Holdings Limited saw first-half net revenues from Tigre De Cristal, which is the only legal venue of its kind in the Primorksy Krai region, rise by 20% year-on-year to about $26.1 million as the venue’s rolling chip turnover swelled by 140% to reach just over $1 billion.

Govertsen reportedly declared that the Far East venue had moreover seen an “up-tick in both mass and slot volumes” due to recent actions by local law enforcement authorities against “a few of the many illegal gaming parlours in Vladivostok”.

“This, in turn, has led to a direct increase in patronage at Tigre De Cristal,” reportedly read Govertsen’s statement.

Daiwa Securities Group Incorporated reportedly noted that the performance of Tigre De Cristal has also been helped by the recent launch of a simplified visa regime for overseas visitors, especially those from target markets such as Japan and China. However, it declared that many junket operators had still expressed dissatisfaction with the new system “due to the amount of administrative work” involved along with confidentiality concerns.

“Junkets still prefer the ease of using a travel agency in the case of larger groups going to Vladivostok on chartered flights,” reportedly read the statement from the Daiwa Securities Group Incorporated analysts.