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 has proposed new regulations to tighten oversight of its casinos, just five years after passing legislation to govern the sector, though some local operators have expressed disappointment at a ban on locals and high fees.