10 th February, Kathmandu
Several casinos that had shut down after the government introduced Casino Regulations 2013 in April last year are planning to resume business. Ten casinos in the capital had shut opeations after failing to clear outstanding dues and renew license as per the new guidelines.
Casino Mahjong at Soaltee Crowne Plaza has already acquired permission from the Tourism Department to resume operations. “We are running a trial version at present and we will resume operations from next week,” said Binod Shrestha, managing director of Casino Mahjong.
Casino Royale at Hotel Yak & Yeti also resumed its operations since February 1 after the Supreme Court issued a stay order allowing the casino to run as per the earlier regulations.
Valley Link which used to run Casino Rad at Radission Hotel, Casino Tara at Hyatt Regency and Casino Venus at Mall Hotel is preparing to acquire license from the government.
Kishore Silwal, president of Casino Association Nepal, who is also the managing director of Valley Link, said they will resume operations within one and a half months.
Recently, Hong Kong based Silver Heritage Limited has started operating The Millionaire´s Club and Casino at Hotel Shangri La. Silver Heritage Limited has opened Silver Heritage Investment in Nepal and Happy World its subsidiary is running the casino.
Rajendra Bajgain, executive chairman of Silver Heritage Investment said it is operating the casino under new regulation and is currently providing employment to 250 people.
The casino has 22 live gaming tables and 10 electronic gaming machines.
Likewise, two new companies, Vegas City International and Prime International and Recreation have been registered at the Ministry of Industry to run casino.
The casinos were facing problem after the government introduced new Casino Regulations 2013 that came into effect on July 2013. The casino operators were lobbying with the government to become flexible with the new regulation. However, the government had only reduced the royalty amount from 40 million to 30 million.
Based on the new regulation, the Finacial Bill 2013-14 had doubled the royalty from 20 million to 40 million.
Similarly, under the new regulation, casinos should have paid-up capital of Rs 250 million. For casinos in four-star hotels, capital requirement has been fixed at Rs 150 million. Casino operators are still requesting the government to reduce the paid-up capital to 150 million.
The new casinos, however, have to pay Rs 500,000 as registration fee and Rs 20 million as licensing fee. They need to pay Rs 10 million as license renewal fee every year.