NagaCorp Ltd., the Cambodian casino operator investing about $350 million in Russia, appointed former Las Vegas Sands Corp. executive Mark Brown as chief operating officer of its NagaWorld unit.
Brown, with the help of consultants, will take part in the initial stages of the company’s casino project in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, NagaCorp said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing yesterday.
NagaCorp, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, said in September that it agreed to invest in Russia with Macau gambling tycoon Lawrence Ho. Casino operators are entering locations such as the Philippines and Vietnam as they seek to emulate the success of Macau, which raked in $38 billion in gambling revenue last year.
The company’s Russia project will take several years and may not begin operations before 2018, according to its September statement. Brown will assist NagaWorld’s chief executive officer in managing operations, marketing and business development, the company said yesterday. NagaCorp said it plans to use his experience to increase regional market share, especially in the junket-VIP market, which targets high rollers.
Before joining NagaCorp, Brown was senior vice president for strategic development at Wynn Resorts Inc.’s Encore Las Vegas facility, where he oversaw marketing, according to the filing. He was president of Sands’ Macau properties from April 2006 to April 2009 and from 1995 to 2005 was president and CEO of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., according to NagaCorp.
The company holds the sole license to operate casinos in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, according to its interim report.
NagaCorp rose 8.8 percent to HK$7.68 at the close yesterday in Hong Kong, before it announced the appointment. The shares have climbed 63 percent this year, as the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 4.7 percent.