By Paul Dan
You say Nepal and your thoughts wander straight to the Himalaya Mountains, to the grand Everest peak, but also the birth place of Buddha. You also automatically think that the small state is wedged as if in pliers between two of the world’s greatest powers, China and India! If we have succeeded in making many infer great travel opportunities or have provoked them to lecture and history, other have seen here a giant business opportunity. And what could be more tempting in Asia, the one with gambling running through its veins, than a casino.
With over one billion Indians a short distance away, a resort with a spa, giant event halls and a complete casino, from all points of view, the Tiger Palace Resort seems to have only one option, that of winning. The Indian gambling market alone is estimated at over 10 billion per year, and that of weddings and festive events increases up to over USD 40 billion.
Tiger Palace Resort is the newest casino-resort in the world, a result of a USD 40 million investment on behalf of the Silver Heritage Group company, headquartered in Hong Kong and listed on the Australian Exchange. The resort opened its doors in the middle of March, being strategically placed only 12 km from the Indian border, a country with a huge population and many wealthy people (millionaires, but also a rich middle class) where gambling is prohibited by law, with the exception of two states, Goa and Sikkim. Being a company listed on the exchange, Silver Heritage, which also holds casinos in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Nepal, in the Kathmandu capital, announced on December 21st, 2017, that it had obtained the license fromthe authorities in Nepal which regulates the activity of casinos, after having paid in the local currency the amount equivalent to USD 194,000 as to obtain the license and a royalty commission of USD 291,000.
Pure gold won at the opening
The Bollywood star Poonam Pandez, as well as dancing teams from Thailand and the Ukraine were the stars of the two days of festivities held for the casino-resort’s opening. The greatest inauguration moment was when the winners of the grand prize of, in total, 750 grams of pure gold were announced. In order to win this grand prize, out of curiosity or just to gamble in the new casino, the resort was over-booked, announced the Silver Heritage leadership at that time.
Located at the periphery of Bhairahawa city, in a natural park overseeing an ancient temple, the five star resort has 100 rooms, two luxury villas, three restaurants, one of which has a Swiss buffet. International specialties are served, from those specific to Asia and India to those specific to Europe. There are also three bars, one located by the pool, a spa center with a gym, opened 24 hours a day, with yoga and zumba professors, as well as conference halls. The pool is of semi-Olympics size (25m in length) and both family areas – with water slides and shallow pools for the safety of small children, and areas destined for those wishing to reach performance.
The Tiger Palace Resort Casino clients will have where to choose from when it comes to gambling. In order to ease their choice-making, the surface measuring almost 13,000 square meters was divided into three distinct areas for players. No less than 52 gambling tables and almost 200 slot machines are located on the casino’s main floor. Alongside the Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Poker, Three Card Poker and Stud Poker, gamblers can bet on Flush and Teen Patti, one of the most sought after card games in India. Those interested in sports haven’t been forgotten, a special area being reserved just for them. The casino also offers a stage were live concerts are held, and a bar, as well.
The clients who play large amounts, are treated as kings and queens. Two steps away from the main casino hall, there is a VIP area, with separate entry. Besides the gambling tables, two dining salons are made available, thus, they can play, have diner and drink fine drinks without needing to move. At Tiger Casino, there is a standard above that of VIP. The gamblers who play the maximum approved threshold have a bar just for them, with free drinks and snacks, both buffet and a-la-carte.
When it will function at full capacity, the resort shall benefit from a casino, an event hall seating 500, a show hall, restaurant, and the maximum accommodation capacity shall reach 400. The company announced that it already plans to build other casinos on the length of the Indian Border. In total, the three Silver Heritage Group casinos shall have 200 gambling tables and 1,000 slot machines.
The success of the casino–resort seems to be guaranteed. The roads, on both sides of the Indian border, have been remade, and the Bhairahawa airport has been modernized and has received the title of international airport. You know, for no other reason than that travel agencies in New Delhi claim that once an Indian boards plane, he can make even to Macao, Asia’s gambling paradise.
Simultaneously, the resort’s management must find ways to persuade Indian residence that there won’t find anywhere else a more attractive location in which they can hold their wedding parties and festivities. Proof of organizational ability was made by the employees of the Tiger Resort’ salon, last months, when a business man from Nepal had 913 guests. Concurrently, in January, on India’s National Day, 660 people chose to celebrate it here, of which 120 had reserved hotel rooms.
The Bhairahawa is close to two UNESCO heritage sites, Lumbini city, the birth place of Buddha and the Chitwan National Park.