Tiger Palace Resort, Bhairahawa, a casino resort being constructed in Nepal on that country’s long border with India, is due to have a soft opening in February 2017.
That is according to a construction update filed on Monday with the Australian Securities Exchange by the resort’s promoter Silver Heritage Group Ltd.
The firm had mentioned previously that the property would open in the first quarter next year.
The filing reiterated the group’s strategy of investing in Nepal gaming resort facilities with the aim of serving Indian nationals. Casino gaming is not authorised currently in most Indian states.
Silver Heritage cited research indicating 430 million people live in India’s capital Delhi and three Indian states that border Nepal; and that 15.5 million of what it termed “middle class” Indians live within a six-hour drive of Tiger Palace Resort, Bhairahawa (pictured in an artist’s rendering). There is also a 24-hour international border crossing between India and Nepal at Bhairahawa, according to Silver Heritage.
Global Market Advisors LLC said in an April report that casino gambling by the growing middle class of Indian nationals had the potential to generate nearly US$10.2 billion annually by the year 2025 provided there was the right product close to home.
Monday’s update from Silver Heritage also gave details on the gaming facilities in the under-construction Nepal property. It is scheduled to have a casino with a gross floor area (GFA) of 2,471 square metres (26,600 sq feet), containing 52 tables and 200 electronic gaming machines.
The update said the foundations and the plinth of the casino portion of the property had been completed, and the interior walls, columns and roofing of that section were “75 percent complete”. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing work on the casino – and all interior fit out of the casino – was due to be concluded by February 2017, it added.
The venue will have 100 rooms of five-star standard, plus two villas; and will have a built-up GFA of approximately 14,000 sq ms, within a 10-hectare (24.7-acre) site. The update said the structure, internal brickwork and roofing of the hotel was “98 percent complete”; the plumbing and electrics 90 percent finished; and interior fit out 65 percent completed. Monday’s filing also mentioned that – with follow-up phases – eventually the venue would offer 400 hotel rooms.
The first phase of the property will have a pool, spa, tennis facilities, gym, conference hall, meeting rooms, facilities for weddings, six food and beverage outlets, and shops. Construction of what the firm termed “auxiliary buildings” was 98 percent ready, and interior fit out of those areas 50 percent finished.
The first phase of the scheme, termed by the promoters as “Phase 1a”, has a budget of US$40 million.
Monday’s filing said Tiger Palace Resort, Bhairahawa was the third stage in what Silver Heritage termed its “India-facing strategy”. The first stage was the opening in 2013 of the Millionaire’s Club, Dhangadhi, in Nepal, with three gaming tables and 20 gaming machines and access to the on-site Devotee Hotel and its 41 rooms; and the second stage was the launch in 2015 of the Millionaire’s Club and Casino, Kathmandu, in Nepal’s capital, with 22 tables and 38 gaming machines, and access to 120 rooms at the on-site Shangri-La Hotel.
The same day as the update filing, the company held in Sydney, New South Wales, what it described as an “information session” regarding its plans.
Silver Heritage was founded in 2003 and currently manages gaming facilities in Vietnam as well as in Nepal.
The company began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on August 29, following an AUD25-million (US$18.8-million) initial public offering.
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Daniel Boone Wayson
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