India’s largest casino operator Delta Corp has been granted a gaming licence in Nepal, more than two years after a casino management agreement was first struck in the region.
Delta Corp reported on Thursday that it has issued a licence for its Deltin Group subsidiary to run a casino in Nepal. The announcement follows the company’s announcement in October 2017 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Everest Hospitality and Hotel Pvt Ltd to lease space at the Marriott Hotel being built in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.
At that time, Delta proposed opening the 5-star, 235-room Marriott Kathmandu by June 2018 but the property did not start accepting guests until July 2019. Delta’s Thursday announcement avoided specifics about when it might actually launch its new casino, saying only that it expects to “soon” start gaming operations at the new hotel.
Delta is India’s only publicly traded casino operator and by far the largest in the country. Delta runs three floating casinos and one land based location in Goa state, one casino in Sikkim state and one hotel in Daman union territory. The latter operation waited for approval to open a casino for years, without any sign of the arrival of that wonderful day. Delta also runs an online poker and rummy business, small but growing.
India is the primary customer source for the small number of casinos in Nepal, which remain off-limits for local residents. Full-scale casinos (slot and tables) are allowed in five-star casinos, while electronic gaming operations are limited to four-star venues.
The government of Nepal will welcome the opening of the Delta Casino, as it has pledged to boost international tourism through its Visit Nepal 2020 initiative. Already awaiting Delta’s arrival are several potential casino competitors, including Australia’s Silver Heritage Group, the Sri Lankan-based Bally’s and Indian companies Pride Group and Mahjong Group.