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.