Company: Casino Venus
Kumar Shrestha is a veteran casino consultant in Nepal. He is one of the most experienced and well known among the senior level executives overseeing casino operations in the country. Until early 2015, he oversaw a workforce of 976 people at Casino Anna, where he began his career as a croupier in June 1992. Since then, he has continued to serve the sector.In August 2012, he participated in Gaming, Racing and Wagering Australia (GRWA) at Sofitel Hotel in Sydney and took part in Australian Gaming Expo in Darling Harbour. In November 2012, he presented at the Asian Gaming & Hospitality Congress about south Asian gaming market focusing central importance of Nepal at Galaxy Macau.He now manages more than 500 people at Casino Venus as chief operation officer. He is widely quoted by the media including The Himalayan Times on the new gaming regulations that came into effect in 2013. He also serves as a gaming consultant and is a certified tour and trekking guide in Nepal. He has traveled to multiple countries for the promotion of Nepal’s casino industry.
Nepal’s casino sector appears finally to be poised for expansion, with new properties opening and foreign investors entering the market, drawn by the lure of untapped demand in neighboring India and increased business traffic. The industry is one of the oldest in Asia, but has been through a transitional period, with new international standard gaming regulations introduced in 2013 and with the country hit by an earthquake and temporary border issues in 2015. However, the picture is brightening and will soon have its first international standard IR.
In early June, a nondescript three-storey yellow building in a smart area of Lalitpur, south of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, became the site of one of the biggest crackdowns on illegal gambling in the country. It was found due to a series of raids cracking down on illegal gambling, which has risen since Nepal introduced new legislation to raise standards in its casinos, with a locals ban now strictly enforced.
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.