The Nepal government is to regulate the country’s casino industry via a Casino Act to be submitted in draft form to the cabinet this week, reported on Friday the Kathmandu Post newspaper.
“We will be submitting a draft to the cabinet… for its approval in principle to prepare a Casino Bill 2018,” said Ghanshyam Upadhyay, spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism, as quoted by the news outlet.
The person added that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs had approved an initial draft and that after being nodded by the cabinet, the detailed provisions would be formed. The aim, it was said, was to promote “investment and employment in the industry”.
According to the report, the current casino regulatory framework in Nepal is complex and with some alleged loopholes.
The report said some of the country’s casinos operated following a code known as the Casino Regulation 2013.
The outlet said that under that regulation, casino operators have to pay a fee of NPR20 million (US$185,694) to obtain a casino operating licence. They are also reportedly required to renew the licence annually by paying 50 percent of the operating licence fee.
According to the news outlet, casinos also currently need to pay a second levy – a NPR30-million annual fee under Nepal’s Financial Act. That annual payment is reportedly being increased by one-third, to NPR40 million, in financial year 2018-2019.