Nepal: authorities close three casinos for failing to pay royalty fees

The Lemon Tree Hotel will be the third in Nepal.
The Lemon Tree Hotel will be the third in Nepal.

The Nepalese government has cancelled three casino operators’ licences for failure to pay US$7.4m in outstanding fees.

Nepal.- Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism has reportedly cancelled three casinos’ licences after the operators allegedly failed to pay unpaid duties and renewal fees by deadlines set. According to The Himalayan Times newspaper, the licences of Rock International Pvt Ltd, Happy Hour Kathmandu, and Oriental Hotels (Radisson Hotel) Lazimpa have been terminated under the National Casino Regulations 2013. 

The three casinos failed to pay outstanding fees totalling NPR905.5m (US$7.4m). The Nepalese government has collected RS$810m in royalties from Nepal’s casinos, but more than RS$1.1bn (US$9.2m) remains unpaid. Some 17 casinos have paid their licence fees, according to the tourism ministry.

Khemraj Joshi, an official at the Ministry of Tourism said the government was forced to take action against the three casinos because they had ignored repeated requests to pay. He said that on March 29, letters had been sent to the Ministry of the Interior and the Police Headquarters requesting the implementation of the decision to revoke the licences.

In February, authorities revoked the licences of two hotels for failing to pay royalties. Yak & Yeti Hotel failed to pay Rs420m while Dreamland Hotel failed to pay Rs3.8m.

Last September, Casinos were allowed to resume operations in Nepal around 18 months after being ordered to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All gambling venues in Nepal had been shut on March 24, 2020 when authorities imposed a lockdown due to Covid-19.

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GAMBLING REGULATION land-based casino