Some casinos don’t pay tax or royalties
Nepal’s government has announced that it will be submitting a new casino bill aimed at encouraging foreign investment into the country’s gambling sector. However, it is believed that the Government’s principal aim is to bring its existing casinos in line with current regulations.
Tourism Ministry spokesman Ghanshyam Upadhyay, said: “We will be submitting a draft to the Cabinet next week for its approval in principle to prepare a Casino Bill in 2018. The Law Ministry has given its okay to a preliminary draft. After the Cabinet’s approval, we will begin to draft the bill. The move to introduce the Casino Act is to enhance investment and employment in the industry which is expected to grow quickly.”
Indeed, the new casino bill will be aimed to increasing foreign investment in the industry of this Himalayan enclave, but more importantly the new act will ensure that existing casinos that have been operating freely without paying taxes and royalties to the government will begin paying their dues.
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued an order that allowed operators to continue operating and paying only a fraction of debt to the Government on royalty fees and taxes, following also Casino Regulation 2013, a government order that scrapped the casinos’ licences. There are seven casinos operating in Nepal, plus three others operating as a result of the court order.
“The casinos are operating unlawfully. But, we have to honour the court’s ruling,” said a Department of Tourism official. The new Casino Act will supersede Casino Regulation 2013,the court’s orders, and will also regulate the casinos in a more managed way and protect the investment of foreign investors,” said the Tourism Ministry official.