In its drive to attract foreign investment and increase casino development activity in the country, the government of Nepal has relaxed location requirements for the establishment of casinos and popular electronic gaming halls in the country.
This decision was reached by the Nepalese lawmakers during the meeting of the country’s cabinet on June 27, 2019, to grant permission for the set up of casinos and electronic gaming halls to be built at a distance up to three kilometers from the country’s international borders. This news was reported by a newspaper outlet in the country of Nepal.
The previous provision in the Nepalese casino regulation law of 2013 stated that all casinos and electronic gaming halls have to be situated at least at a distance of five kilometers away from the country’s international borders.
This new revision in the Nepalese Casino Regulation is a welcome development for hotel owners as they are able to add casinos to their establishments. The previous restriction stopped them from expanding the range of their business at the Nepal-India border. Casino reviews by these businesses show that there would be a highly significant increase in tourism and hospitality revenues for their businesses with the new regulation that brings them closer to the country’s international borders.
This new regulation saw a rise in tourist visitors for Nepal with nearly 1.2 million international visitors in 2018 to the country. This is a 25% increase in tourists from previous year of 2017. This growing tourist visitors is one of the reasons hospitality operators in the South Asian nation want to expand the range of tourism activities like casino gambling and all other interesting tourist attractions in the region.
Nepal is flanked by India and China. Casino gambling is limited in India and it is totally banned in China. Therefore, most foreign tourists from both Mainland China and the neighbouring country of India, head to Nepal for some gambling experience. This led to around a total of 350,000 foreign tourist to Nepal from its neighbours. This flexibility of the casino regulation law regarding the distance from their international borders, has been a boost for the country of Nepal. There is also the news that Nepalese lawmakers are looking towards the established of a new Casino Act which will be joined to the country’s Tourism Act and would most likely replace or update the casino law of Nepal, 2013.
The new casino gaming law will be structured to streamline the nation’s casino industry and to further bring to the notice the global players in the casino industry to see Nepal as a viable place to set up a business. This will also further enhance the construction and building of the hospitality industry as the new regulation which will be introduced as a part of the Casino Act comes in line with the increasing and expected increase in Nepal’s gaming industry. The final stage of drafting this new law is presently ongoing in Nepal.
This review and update of the existing casino act has been deemed a necessary step forward by the Nepalese government. There is a need to craft a new law which will serve as the guide to the nation’s casino industry and bring further make the other existing avenues that pertain to these forms of entertainment to fall line so as to ensure their operations are duly paid for through their tax and royalty contributions. Most of these businesses have not been fulfilling their civic duty in this regard.
The Nepalese government tourist department says these businesses owe them to the tune of Rs 1.25 billion in unpaid royalties by their casinos. As per the Casino Regulation of 2013, the licenses of casinos who had not paid their royalties in 2013, which was due, was suspended by the country’s Tourism Ministry. However, in that same year, the licenses where returned to the casinos as the Nepalese Supreme Court ruled that the gambling venues could be reopened, and the casinos could resume operations as per the ruling.
Although border limits have been relaxed, the building in certain areas of the region continue to come under fire. For example, the Tiger One and Silver Heritage Investment, building of a resort has been halted by the Nepalese government as they investigate whether the investment company is encroaching on public land. There have been reports that the land was obtained through questionable means. This came at the heels of several pleas to the resort to stop construction as the land was not rightly bought.
Nepal whose official name is the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked nation in Southern Asia. With most of its parts located in the Himalayas, some parts of the nation are in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. It has a population of 26.4 million people and it is the 48th largest country by population. Its neighbours are India in the south, east and west, while China borders it from the north. The geography of this nation is diverse. It has fertile plains, subalpine forest, home to eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains and this includes Mount Everest, the known highest point of earth. The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu and it is also its largest city. The official language is Nepali, over 19 ethnic groups, 7 different religions with Hinduism been the highest.
Nepal is sure to see a steady rise in the influx of tourist to its shores with the recent relaxation of its casino act. No longer will tourist have to travel from mainland China or India to sample casino gambling in Nepal, tourists can now head directly to the country for their stay and enjoy the gambling experience they want. The constructions of resorts and five star hotels are a testament to the growing tourism ministry of Nepal and with a new casino act well on its way, hospitality operators are sure to soon be smiling to the banks as tourism activities are bound to rise.