Sikkim is set to open its first public airport at the end of the month, which is likely to benefit the gambling industry in the state, local media reports.
According to state government sources, the inauguration has been fixed for November 30, with the airport likely to commence commercial operations soon after.
Currently, tourists looking to visit Sikkim are forced to use the Bagdogra airport in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, which is 124 kilometres away from the Sikkim capital city of Gangtok, with the trip taking as much as seven or eight hours.
Currently there are two online gaming centers and three land-based casinos in the state, which will likely benefit from an increased flow of tourists as a result of the new airport.
Anil Malani, president of Delta Corp Ltd. said the new airport will be a game-changer for the state’s nascent gaming industry.
“A greenfield airport at Pakyong, about 35 kilometres from Casino Deltin Denzong promises to significantly increase footfalls by directly connecting people from key cities across India. The airport will be a major boost for tourism, positively influencing the gaming industry. Deltin Casino stands to gain the most because of its location in Denzong Regency Hotel which is opposite the Kangchenjuga, the second largest mountain range in the region,” he said, quoted by Glaws.
Commenting on the development, Manoj Sethi, director of Golden Gaming International Pvt. Ltd. said, “The overall tourist inflow to Sikkim will definitely increase manifold because of the launch of the new airport. Earlier, our patrons had to travel for many hours from Bagdogra to Gangtok, but the new airport will definitely make things easier. The footfall at our gaming outlets will also increase post the launch of the airport.”