Call it Tijuana in the Terai, literally right across the Indian border and out of this world.
A circular driveway to the main entrance dazzles with reflected lights on the surface of the surrounding lagoon. This is where Bollywood starlets and BMW convertibles roll up the ramp onto the forecourt.
Once you pass the two bouncers at the gates, gamblers can stake lakhs on blackjack tables or soak in the suspense of the spinning roulette wheel. With three distinct gaming zones, you can easily fritter away your paycheck on the sea of glitzy slot machines while young hostesses encourage you to make one more throw of the dice. And for seasoned high rollers, playboys and punters, the private VIP area above the main floor will seduce you to go all in and even spend up to a crore in one night — or so we’re told.
And after you have gotten rid of it all, you can drown your sorrows in locally made 8848 Vodka or the finest Old Durbar blended scotch sitting at the long, narrow bar while watching Champions League football on a giant LED screen. And if minor Bollywood celebrities are your thing, then show up on May 12 for the Shamita Shetty night.
But just in case you beat the house, there’s no need to fret in this election season – agents will happily help you convert your winnings into Indian currency for a small fee. Border checks have become tougher in the past month.
South Asia’s Biggest Casino
Forget the Vegas strip, it’s time to place your bets in Bhairahawa, just a few kilometres from the Indo-Nepal border. All you need is to navigate the customs bureaucracy, dust, grime, touts, travel agents and lorries that ferry essential goods along National Highway 29 into the Mountain Kingdom.
In the middle of nowhere, 12 km from the Indo-Nepal border point, Tiger Palace Resort, South Asia’s swankiest and biggest casino has sprung up, run by a little-known, Hong Kong-based and Australia-listed casino operator Silver Heritage Group. Nepal’s first border casino, it caters to the catchment areas of Delhi-National Capital Region, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal—about 430 million people within a six-hour drive of the property that has 100-plus luxury rooms and two villas.