Tigre de Cristal’s VIP turnover surges, mass tables slump

Lawrence Ho’s Tigre de Cristal casino in Russia’s far east saw its VIP gambling turnover more than double in the first half of 2017.

On Thursday, the Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd filed its report card covering the six months ending June 30, during which gaming and hotel revenue rose one-fifth to HKD 204.6m ($26.1m), while adjusted earnings improved by 62% to HKD 57m. However, a series of notional non-cash one-offs resulted in the company recording a net loss of HKD 5.4m for the period.

Just to be clear, Summit Ascent holds a 60% stake in Oriental Regent Ltd, which has a wholly owned subsidiary called G1 Entertainment Ltd that runs the Tigre de Cristal in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone near Vladivostok. G1 also pays Summit Ascent a management fee equal to 3% of Tigre de Cristal’s gaming revenue.

Tigre de Cristal’s VIP turnover hit HKD 8.4b in H1, up 140% year-on-year, while VIP revenue rose 48% to HKD 79.7m. VIP turnover through the first two months of August totaled HKD 4.25b, putting it on track to break its previous quarterly turnover record of HKD 5.6b in Q3 2016. However, that Q3 record was set with a daily average of only nine open tables, half the property’s current average.