| New regulation to bar hotels from operating casinos
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) has prepared a draft regulation in order to streamline licensing process of casinos as per the directives issued by Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The new regulation has been conceptualized to grant license to the casinos, but not to the hotels as is currently practiced.
Only five-star hotels are now entitled to operate casinos at their premises.
The ministry is said to be consulting with hotel entrepreneurs and stakeholders to bring the new regulation as per international standards.
The move on the part of the ministry to start draft of the new regulation followed direction aired by the PAC under Legislature-Parliament on February 2 to prepare the regulation within 15 days.
The new regulation will also be gravitated towards making the provision of registering casino machines imperative.
It will also introduce stickers to the verified machine taking the present charge that casinos are operating more machine than they are permitted.
Meanwhile, trade unions of Casino Nepal have reportedly made efforts to compel the owner of Nepal Recreation Centre (NRC) Rakesh Wadhwa into clearing the outstanding dues.
It came after the government decided to penalise those casinos which have failed to pay their dues.
The NRC currently runs four casinos in Nepal. Of them, Casino Everest and Casino Tara have cleared their financial obligation to the state.
Nevertheless, his two other casinos—Casino Nepal and Casino Anna—still owe the government Rs 244 million.
Wadhwa has continuously dodged the repeated government orders to clear the outstanding dues, which has pushed his casinos to the verge of closure.
In a clear move to hoodwink the government, Wadhwa recently sold 50 percent of his stake in Casino Anna to two Indian buyers. nepalnews.com