Tiger Palace: Silver Heritage sets up shop at the gateway to India

Tiger Palace: Silver Heritage sets up shop at the gateway to India

Thursday, February 9, 2017
The five-star resort is located on the outskirts of Bhairahawa

After launching a successful IPO last year, Asian casino operator Silver Heritage Group has its sights set on Indian gamblers, as the company puts the finishing touches to its newest facility, Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa, in Nepal.

This year is set to be one of the most important in Silver Heritage Group’s history, as the Asia-focused casino operator prepares to cut the ribbon on its latest property, Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa in Nepal.

Due to open over coming weeks, the five-star resort is located on the outskirts of Bhairahawa, just 12km south of the Nepal-India border. Tiger Palace, it is hoped, will enable Silver Heritage to capitalise on the “substantial Indian demand for gaming facilities”.

Incorporated in 2003, Silver Heritage Group was initially engaged in the supply and management of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Asia. Focus was placed on identifying opportunities arising from the growing popularity of gaming in markets where supply was limited due to government regulations and limited infrastructure.

Since then, the group has used its experience in rapidly developing Asian gaming markets to transition its business strategy to focus on the management and operation of casinos.

In addition to supplying EGMs to casinos and licensed gaming clubs in Laos and Cambodia, the company currently operates The Millionaire’s Club and Casino in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, and provides management services to the Phoenix International Club casino in Bac Ninh, Vietnam.

As the group looked to tap further growth in Asia, Silver Heritage began trading on Australia’s stock exchange in August 2016. The A$25 million initial public offering, under ASX ticker symbol SVH, valued the company at A$80 million.

“Funds raised through the offer will primarily be used to fund the future expansion of the group’s projects, in particular the development of the group’s first casino resort near the India-Nepal border,” explained Silver Heritage chairman, David Green.

The soon-to-open Tiger Palace facility will be the group’s first wholly-owned and operated casino resort in Nepal. The luxury 14,000sq.m resort will include a 100-room five-star hotel with spa, gym, food and beverage facilities and function rooms, along with a 2,500sq.m casino featuring 52 tables and 200 EGMs.

“Management believes that India represents one of the largest untapped gaming markets in the world, in part due to only two Indian states, Goa and Sikkim, permitting and having casinos,” Silver Heritage said in its recent investor prospectus.

“With only six licensed live table casinos in India, management considers that the development of Tiger Palace Resorts will present alternative leisure and entertainment destinations, particularly for the emerging middle-class residents in the Indian states bordering Nepal.”

According to Silver Heritage, few gaming operators have considered India as potential source of gaming demand. “However, India has a large prosperous economy, the world’s second largest population and favourable gaming habits,” the company said.

“The group seeks to attract Indian gaming patrons, which are not currently appropriately served by attractive and proximate gaming destinations which is leading to these patrons frequenting casinos that cater to them in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.”

Discussing the market opportunities on the Nepal-India border, Tim Shepherd, president of business development for the group, said: “The population here is greater than almost anywhere in Asia, excepting the Shanghai Delta, and [the region] is currently served by zero casinos.”

With these opportunities in mind, as Silver Heritage finalises the launch of Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa and pushes ahead with the development of two additional hotels on the site, the group is currently in the planning stages to develop Tiger Palace Resort Jhapa, a second five-star casino resort close to the India-Nepal border.

Totally Gaming says: India remains one of the world’s largest untapped gaming markets. Gambling is permitted in just two Indian states, Goa and Sikkim, and the country’s legislation shows no sign of changing. While there are risks associated with the opening of any new casino property, more than 15 million middle class Indian consumers live within a six-hour drive of the Nepalese border, meaning Tiger Palace Bhairahawa is perfectly placed to capitalise on this increasing demand for gaming.

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