The casinos of Nepal, which shut down their operations 10 months ago, are resuming their procedures as they are ready to comply with government’s new regulations. All the casinos operating in Nepal were declared illegal in April’2014 as they failed to adhere to the regulations for casinos passed by the government in July’2013.
The sponsors of these casinos who earlier were denying to operate casinos as per the new rules are now willing to take license and some of them have even taken it. According to the new law, it is allowed to operate casinos even outside the big hotels like earlier it was allowed operated them in five-star hotels only.
Under the new rule, casinos must have a paid-up capital of Rs 250 million now, however capital needed for the casinos that are being established in the premises of four-star hotel is fixed at Rs 150 million. Apart from this, the government initially had doubled the royalty fees for casinos from 20 million to 40 million, but considering it very high, this has been lowered to 30 million for casinos and 20 million for the operators who deal with electronic gaming.
Now, the registration fee for a new casino is Rs 500,000 with 20 million license fees. For renewal of license, they are required to pay Rs 10 million every year. Additionally, according to the new regulation, the casinos are needed to deduct 25% tax on the winning amount of the players, which is known as windfall gains tax. This windfall gains tax has to be submitted at the nearest tax office.
Moreover, casinos are ordered to bar Nepalis from gaming according to new law, have to have CCTV record for up to 6 months, register all entrants, and have to have the record of their each and every financial transaction.
Casinos that have taken the license from Department of Tourism of Nepal so far are only two – Casino Mahjong and Silver Heritage Limited (SHL), though so many have shown interest initially. On one hand where, SHL has already started their casino at Shangri-La and are are planning to open more casinos at Nepal, the Casino Mahjong is trying to begin its operation at Nepal from the next week on the other hand.
Following them the Valley Link, that used to operate Casino Rad, Casino Venus, and Casino Tara in the past, is as well planning to apply for license. Casino Royale has resumed its operations at Hotel Yak & Yeti from February’01 after Supreme Court’s stay order to operate the casino under the old rules.
There are two new companies as well naming Vegas City International and Prime International and Recreation that have registered themselves at the Department of Industry for opening their casinos in Nepal. Vegas City International is the venture of India’s well known hospitality and gaming group Delta that has its casinos in Goa and Daman.
These are some positive signs which are forcing us to think that Nepal’s Casino Industry is recovering from disastrous 2014 downfall that it has seen.