The Nepal government has extended the deadline for casinos to pay missing royalties of Rs 657.66m for a fifth time, insisting that those casinos who do not comply will be shut down.
The extension follows a letter from the Casino Association of Nepal who said casinos were keen to operate legally and that the issue should be resolved through a dialogue. Casino owners want the royalty fee reduced though, claiming it was unfairly doubled under the new regulation. They also want laws changed that stipulate that only four-star properties are allowed to operate electronic gaming.
Madhusudhan Burlakoti, Chief of the Industry Division at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said: “A Cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to extend the deadline until April 4. The association asked the government to extend the deadline first before holding talks. If they fail to clear the dues and obtain new licenses this time, we have no other options but to close them down forcibly.”
Casino Grand in Hotel Grand in Pokhara and Casino Shangri La housed in Shangri La Hotel Kathmandu have already been closed down. There are currently 10 casinos in the country, eight in Kathmandu and two in Pokhara.