Golden Gaming get Sikkim casino license, plot Nepal expansion


golden-gaming-sikkim-casino-licenseCasino operator Golden Play Pvt Ltd has been okayed to launch a new casino in a hotel in Gangtok, the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim.

On Thursday, Indian gaming authority Jay Sayta reported that Golden Play, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based Golden Gaming International, has been issued a provisional license to set up a 12k-square-foot casino in the Hotel D’Wang in Gangtok’s Deorali area.

Golden Play director Manoj Sethi said the provisional license gives the company six months in which to establish the necessary infrastructure and then apply for a permanent casino license. Sethi said the plan was to have the casino ready to roll by April 2018.

Sikkim is one of only three Indian jurisdictions in which such activity is permitted, and Golden Play’s launch will bring the state’s total number of casinos to four.

Golden Gaming already has a presence in Sikkim, having launched digital gaming and sports betting operations in the state last year. Unlike rival Essel Group, which shut its digital gaming operations in Sikkim due to commercial difficulties, Sethi said the “good response” to Golden Gaming’s operations convinced the company to branch out into live casino gaming.

Golden Play is also hoping to expand across the border in neighboring Nepal. Sethi said the company was waiting on Nepalese authorities to approve the company’s proposal to open a casino in the Hotel Cygnett Inn Krishna in Nepalgunj near the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Assuming all goes to plan, Sethi said the company hopes to launch its Nepalese operation by mid-2018.

Nepal’s casino industry is currently in an expansionist mood, with Golden Gaming rival Delta Corp having recently announced a deal to run a casino in a hotel in the capital Kathmandu. Silver Heritage Group’s swanky new Tiger Palace Resorts Bhairahawa is currently awaiting final approval to open its gaming floor to well-heeled international tourists.

In less positive news, the Himalayan News Service reported Monday that police had arrested 19 individuals during a raid on the Casino Mahjong in Kathmandu after getting a tip that casino staff were helping local residents circumvent the Gambling Act, 1963’s provision that bars locals from gambling in casinos.

The cops said 11 of the detained individuals were Casino Mahjong staff who’d been complicit in the other eight individuals getting their gamble on. Some of the gamblers were found to have been issued with fake casino staff ID cards. Police also confiscated cash and casino chips the gamblers had on their person at the time of the raid.