Friday, September 24, 2010

Casino Sikkim

Venue: The Royal Plaza
Timings: 6 pm to 4 am
Games: 10 slot machines
2 Roulette tables
1 Flush table
1 Baccarat table
1 Blackjack table

Age limit: 18 years and above
Hawk eye: Specialized team from Nepal

Take a bow, Nepal. Step aside, Goa. Make away for the new royal player.

Sikkim few  months ago became the first and only State in the entire length and breadth of the nation when Ex-State tourism minister RB Subba set the roulette rolling from the ‘Casino Sikkim’ at The Royal Plaza here today evening adding yet another ‘first’ to the glittering tourism crown of Sikkim.

This ‘first’ is Sikkim now officially rounding off a slew of national tourism awards with ‘the first land based live casino’ in the entire length of breadth of the nation.

During this momentous step towards attracting ‘high rollers’ to Sikkim, the tourism minister said that the casino at The Royal Plaza should have its impact in promoting high-end tourists.

Mr. Subba reminded that there has been an annual increase of 20 percent in the inflow of tourists to Sikkim in the recent years.
And of course, there are other players more waiting on the wings for casino business in the State. Seven applications for opening up casinos are pending with the State government, Mr. Subba said after making a brief tour of the casino hall of The Royal Plaza.

Former Chief Minister SM Limboo was also present during the opening ceremony.

“It was soft opening. They invested Rs. 30 crores more to have a full-fledged casino in a bigger room in the next 3 months”,
“I am really looking forward to attract high rolling clients and that will depend in the Pakyong airport whose Bhoomi puja had been done yesterday. The airport is scheduled to be completed by two years which is ample time for me to market my casino”, said Naresh Subba, director of The Royal Plaza, a part of the Teesta Rangit group.
The director said Rs. 70 crores would be invested to expand The Royal Plaza, which has presently 60 rooms. I am adding 40 more rooms with other amenities like swimming polls and indoor movie hall, he said.

Presently the casino has ten slot machines, two roulette tables, one blackjack table, one baccarat table and a flush table manned and operated by a specialized and experienced team from Nepal. The casino is open daily from 6 pm to 4 am.

The Teesta Rangit Private Ltd has tied up Kishore Silwal who runs 3 casinos in Nepal for technical tie up for the Casino Sikkim.

Expectedly, the tables and machines were packed with enthusiastic players, many of whom were first timers.

It may be recalled that the State government on November 13 last year had authorized Teesta Rangit Private Ltd for installation and operation of casino games at the premises of its luxury hotel, The Royal Plaza.

The permission granted by the State government is a provisional license that enables the Royal Plaza to run casino till it is fully classified as a five star hotel by the Ministry of Tourism.
Original license will be issued to Royal Plaza only after it fulfils the norms of a five star hotel within 5 years as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Tourism.
The Sikkim government had set the dice rolling when it notified the Sikkim Casino Games (Control and Taxes) Rules, 2007 thereby inviting interested parties for setting up casinos in the State.

Till this period, only Goa had allowed casinos in India that too electronically controlled.

The objective of the State government was to attract high end domestic and foreign tourists with the casino bid which had already created ripples in the hospitality sector both national and internationally.
Apart from carving a niche for itself as a major tourism player, Sikkim government stands to gain with an amount of Rs. 1.5 crores which will be paid by The Royal Plaza as taxes in the next 5 years


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