Three gambling facilities in Nepal lost their licenses at the beginning of April. These casinos failed to comply with the state requirements to be in this business. Between them, the properties owe over $7.5 million to local authorities.
Nepal took away the license from the following casinos:
- Happy Hour Kathmandu (owes $2.52 million)
- Rock International (owes $2.5 million)
- Oriental Hotels (Radisson) Lazimpat (owes $2.49 million)
The Department of Tourism issued an ultimatum on March 24, 2022. It stated that casinos had five days to pay any outstanding fees and royalties. Otherwise, the authorities will cancel their license. Prem Bahadur Ale, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, was the one who sent the ultimatum. This was done after the facilities had already received several public warnings.
Once the deadline expired, the DoT decided to revoke the casinos’ licenses. They asked the Police Headquarters and the Ministry of Home Affairs to enforce the request.
Not the only casinos that lost their licenses recently
The news comes only a couple of months after the latest license removal. The Department of Tourism stopped Dreamland Hotel and Yak & Yeti Hotel from working in February. According to the authorities, these facilities failed to comply with the state requirements from the 2020/21 fiscal year.
Nepal authorities were even harsher to those properties since they took away their five-star rating. The reports indicate Dreamland Hotel owes $5 million and Yak & Yeti owes $3.5 million to the local government.
This clear trend shows the huge effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Nepal casinos. The properties were closed to players for 18 months, and they only opened again in October 2021. The main reason why many can’t pay the outstanding fees is the lack of profit due to pandemic restrictions.