The choice to move in to the gambling industry has really paid off for the man who just became a Cambodian casino billionaire, after starting off life by training as a medical doctor. Chen Lip Keong then turned to property development before branching out into gaming, and it is NagaCorp who have afforded him this new status – the owners of NagaWorld, the biggest casino in Cambodia.
Chen decided to get into slot machine games and started NagaCorp up in 1995, in which year he also gained a seventy year gaming license for his site in Cambodia. He also has a monopoly on any casino venue within a two hundred kilometre radius of Phnom Penh, which is set to expire in 2035, and which has certainly been a contributing factor to his success. He made the list of richest Malaysians in 2009 with a net worth of $195 million, but since then the share price of NagaCorp has gone up by more than five hundred per cent – making it one of the best performers on that exchange throughout the period.
The company was listed in Hong Kong in 2006 after it was rejected in Singapore, and ever since then the stock of the successful casino has been steadily rising based on a consistent performance and its continued status as a market dominator. He still controls more than half of the company, which puts him in an ideal position to profit from it hugely as well as being able to make sure that all of the important business decisions are ones that he agrees to. The share price has doubled in the last year alone, largely due to the fact that he announced the expansion of NagaCorp: in November they started the construction of Naga2, which will be completed in 2015 and will include a casino space alongside restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and shopping area. Chen is also the owner of Karambunai, a property developer and tourism company, which must have benefitted from bigger draws to the area thanks to the presence of his huge casino resort and the luxury which is promises to all who stay there.