Casinos in Nepal are planning to reopen almost a year after they closed after failing to meet regulations laid out by the government in 2013 that pushed up costs and made renewing licenses more difficult. Ten casinos in Kathmandu closed after failing to meet the new guidelines, according to local media My Republica. The newspaper […]
Nepal’s economy is forecast to grow at the fastest pace in 20 years in 2017, with tourism arrivals also recovering, helping to attract foreign investment into its casino sector. Foreign investors are now moving back into the country and the casino sector. During the Nepal Investment Summit in March a total of $13.7 billion was pledged in foreign direct investment, with the bulk from China. About $10 million was earmarked for tourism and casinos are reopening.
Nepal’s casino industry is recovering from a series of deadly earthquakes and a temporary border blockade with India last year, with international casino operators increasingly eyeing the market as a way to tap potential from neighboring India. Visitor numbers to the Himalayan nation by air jumped 12.77 percent in the first half of this year to 313,512, compared with about 277,992 visitors in the same period last year. In the first half of 2014, tourist arrivals had reached 412,461.
Nepal’s casino industry is forecast to bounce back in 2016 after a devastating earthquake last year and an unofficial border blockade imposed by India. According to Union Gaming Analytics, an industry consultant, the Indian market could have the potential for US$4 billion in gaming revenue and Nepal casino insiders say operators are perfectly positioned to attract those players.The industry in Nepal has faced a tumultuous few years, with the government shuttering all casinos in 2014 after failure to comply with new regulations and pay outstanding license fees. The casinos began reopening in 2015, with many under new management, only to be hit by an earthquake in April, followed up by an unofficial border blockade by India.
Nepali authorities are in the process of assessing damage to the country’s all important tourism sector after the deadly earthquake that hit the country on April 25, though casino operators say they are already back in business and expect any impact on revenues to be temporary. The casinos may even benefit from the aid and investment flooding in from India to help reconstruction efforts.