Some lawmakers in Nepal are stepping up pressure on the country’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to try to get some shuttered casinos reopened.
A number of venues have been shut since April because of disputes over allegedly unpaid fees.
One of those closed – Casino Royale at the Hotel Yak and Yeti in Kathmandu – briefly reopened last week but quickly closed again, GGRAsia has learned.
Officials were asked at a recent committee meeting of the Nepalese parliament in the capital (pictured) about the closures.
Nepal charges royalty payments and licensing fees to casino operators. The country’s government has budgeted for a near doubling of royalty payments from casinos in financial year 2014-2015, to NPR161.76 million (US$1.6 million) compared to a revised figure of NPR83.95 million generated from such payments in 2013-14.
The government’s latest licensing rules say a NPR500,000 application fee is payable for a casino licence, plus NPR20 million for the licence itself. Electronic casino game parlours must pay NPR200,000 for the application and NPR10 million for a licence.
Nepal’s 2014-15 budget, published in July, said the state air carrier, Nepal Airlines Corp, would buy seven new aircraft for international routes and 15 for domestic ones within the following five years in order to improve visitors’ access to the mountainous republic.
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