Silver Heritage experiences opening hiccups

Silver Heritage held the gala opening for its Tiger Palace Resort in March, though the IR has run into problems with a former partner and the country’s bureaucratic licensing regime.

The two-day long opening gala celebrations included Bollywood and international artists, including Bollywood dance sensations, Natasa Stankovic and Poonam Pandey.

Tiger Palace has its eye firmly on the potential of neighbouring India with its large and rapidly expanding middle class and its high propensity to gamble. The immediate target market for the resort comprises of the more than 15 million aspirational middle-class Indian citizens living within six hours of travel from the resort, in states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

Spread over 22 acres of land, Tiger Palace Resort offers 100 guest rooms and suites along with two private villas, offering views of the mountains and forests surrounding the resort.

It also features 2,500 sqm of live gaming with 44 gaming tables and more 200 electronic gaming machines.

The resort’s amenities include various F&B outlets, a large swimming pool, and a dedicated kids club with a wide array of entertainment options for children. It features a spa, gym, meetings and wedding spaces, including a ballroom and an expansive function lawn that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

The resort also features a 100-year-old Rana temple.

However, recent months have not been without problems, with the group finding itself in a legal row with a former partner and running afoul of the country’s licensing laws.

The group terminated the contract of its former partner Rajendra Bajgain after he accused management of illegal hiring practices. The executive is now seeking compensation from the company and the case is before the courts.

The Australia-listed group said its confident that the consultancy agreement with Bajgain was validly terminated and has agreed to discussions to settle disputes without the need for further court action.

The company also ran into issues over liquor licenses, with the Inland Revenue Office seizing cases of liquor from the casino floor, alleging it did not have a license to sell alcohol.

The company said it’s engaging with the Nepal government to ensure it has all the requisite permits and licenses for its resorts in the country.

It has an excise license at its Tiger Palace IR for the entire hotel and resort, which it owns, operates and manages. It also has an excise license at The Millionaires Club and Casino Club in Kathmandu, where it manages just the casino.

“We are engaging the government to make sure that we have all requisite permits and licenses in place,” CEO Mike Bolsover said in an email. “Although it is not immediately clear, we may need to add a 3rd such excise license, and if so, we shall add the license.”