Nepal To Discuss Rollout Of New Stringent Gambling Laws
The government of Nepal is tightening the screws on the gambling industry.
According to reports, a new gambling law has been proposed and will be discussed soon. One provision in the law will allow the government to attach the personal property of casino operators that default on paying their taxes and other fees. That is just one part of the new legal framework that could soon be rolled out in Nepal.
Back in 2013, the Nepalese government started introducing regulations to bring more structure to its gambling industry.
This was mostly because local casinos were evading royalties and violating the rule that barred Nepali residents from playing in the casinos. This was followed up in 2014 by a new law which gave the authorities permission to shut down all casinos that did not follow regulations nor paid their royalties to the government.
The problem with the shutdown order was that several casinos protested the decision to the Supreme Court and had the closure order struck down. This resulted in three casinos that were supposed to be closed continuing to operate.
The government has learned its lesson and is now looking to conduct an overhaul of the country’s gambling laws. There are several changes that will majorly affect gambling operations in Nepal
Nepal Taking A Tough Stance
The first change is that the hotel in which the casino operates will be fully liable for the casino. The result is that if a casino operator is unable to pay the dues, then the hotel will have to pay it. This gives hotels an additional encouragement to keep their casinos in line with the laws.
Alongside this new liability, the laws are a lot stricter. If approved, the government will have the ability to confiscate the property of all fugitive casino operators. Their bank accounts and passports will also be seized. Plus, water and electricity to the gambling location may be stopped by the government.
Additionally, gambling operators are required to use two percent of their profits to uplift local communities as part of their social responsibility. Stricter penalties are also being considered for those that allow Nepali gamblers into their establishment.
In a statement, Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, spokesperson for the Tourism Ministry said
We have held several rounds of discussions on the new law. We plan to consult the private sector and the public regarding the new bill. The final draft will be sent to the Finance and Law ministries for their approval before submitting it to the Cabinet.