The government for the small Asian nation of Nepal has reportedly revoked the licenses of three land-based gambling establishments after the trio refused to hand over a combined $7.3 million in outstanding fees.
According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the enterprises from Rock International Proprietary Limited, Happy Hour Kathmandu and Oriental Hotels Limited were essentially slot parlors operated out of four-star hotels in Kathmandu. The source explained that these venues had been utilizing a court order to continue running even after the nation of 29 million people enacted a new licensing regime in 2013.
The head of the Nepal Casino Association, Binod Shrestha, reportedly disclosed that the gambling license of the Yak and Yeti Hotel was similarly cancelled by the government of President Bidya Devi Bhandari earlier this year owing to arrears of some $3.4 million while the country’s Dreamland Hotel was analogously punished due to a $31,400 debt. Rock International Proprietary Limited was purportedly on the hook for $2.5 million while Oriental Hotels Limited and Happy Hour Kathmandu were each thought to be in the red to the tune of approximately $2.4 million.
Shrestha reportedly noted that some of these liabilities arose due to an earlier regime that saw the government grant gambling licenses to the host venues rather than to the actual operators of the slot parlors. He purportedly divulged that this led to numerous legal challenges and conflicting judgements as hotels argued that they should not have to pay for the privilege of accommodating such enterprises.
For its part and the online news domain at MyRepublica.NagarikNetwork.com used its own Thursday report into the matter to detail that the Nepalese government had recently collected almost $7.2 million in such licensing fees that it intends to put towards funding a variety of public programs. This source moreover revealed that the Department of Tourism had written to the offending venues to tell them that they would be permanently shuttered if they did not pay their outstanding debts within five days.
Khemraj Joshi serves as the Hotel and Casino Supervising Officer for the Department of Tourism and he reportedly stated that Nepal has eleven casinos situated inside five-star hotels and started the year with the same number of small slot parlors. He purportedly went on to assert that all of the recent closure orders were issued under Rule 14 of the nation’s Casino Regulation 2070.
Reportedly read a statement from Joshi…
“We gave five days to the three casino companies to pay their arrears to the government. We have written to close the casinos now as they have not paid these arrears.”