Tourism and casino operators in the mountainous Asian state of Nepal have expressed disappointment at an apparent government move to scrap proposed bespoke laws that would have mastered the licensing and running of local casinos.
New regulations were due to be on their way:
Based on a Wednesday report from The Kathmandu Post newspaper, Nepalese officials announced in June that they were planning to publish the draft Casino Bill 2018 to cabinet amid hopes that the small state ’s close proximity to China and India may see it become Earth ’s next gambling hotspot.
New legislation abruptly disappeared:
However, the paper reported that this legislation never appeared while the authorities ’s Tourism Ministry instead recently expressed its desire to add new rules designed to streamline the casino industry and encourage fresh investment in the coming Tourism Act 2018.
Secretary for Nepal’s Tourism Ministry, Krishna Prasad Devkota, to The Kathmandu Post…
“We can bring the Casino Act although not individually. We are currently discussing the issue. As per the program, the casino legislation will probably emerge as an annex to the Tourism Act that the government is currently drafting.
Law Ministry oblivious of reasons:
The paper reported that Nepal’s Law Ministry had earlier approved a preliminary draft of the Casino Act 2018 but has been unaware of the reasons behind the legislation’s rumored cancellation.
An anonymous source in the Law Ministry to The Kathmandu Post…
“As the [Tourism] Ministry wants to integrate the casino legislation to the new Tourism Act 2018, the strategy to enact a separate piece of legislation may have been cancelled.
Shoe-horned measures may prove too weak:
The Kathmandu Post reported that the authorities ’s clear about-face has sparked concerns that any new gaming laws inserted in the Tourism Act 2018 may end up being too weak to tackle potential risks and attract foreign investment.
The Nepalese casino sector is currently policed under laws known as the Casino Legislation 2013 but this was reportedly hijacked by a new Supreme Court judgment that seemingly allows some casinos to operate without paying the right amount of taxation.
The paper detailed that this has caused the impoverished nation currently being owed approximately $11.33 million in aggregate responsibilities from many casinos such as Kathmandu’s Casino Royale and Casino Rad.
An anonymous source in the Tourism Ministry to The Kathmandu Post…
“The most complicated matter for the section is that it can’t collect royalties and taxes as it’s scrapped their licenses. In a legal sense, the casinos are operating unlawfully but we must honor the courtroom ’therefore ruling.