In a latest update pertaining to the already-awaited Casinos Act 2018, the Government of Nepal has come up with a new update pertaining to the regulation of casinos across the country.
A recent release informed that the government has decided not to go with tourism department’s proposal to introduce a special legislation to regulate the casino industry.
Instead, it is planning to include provisions of the legislature to the Tourism Bill draft that is currently underway with the concerned department.
“We will bring the Casino Act, but not separately. We are currently discussing the issue. As per the plan, the casino law will come out as an annex to the Tourism Act that the government is currently drafting,” Tourism Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota said in a statement.
The government’s decision comes as a disappointment to various domestic tourism entrepreneurs who were expecting the authorization of commercial gaming through separate regulation for casinos, as a means to attract massive foreign investment and more tourists to the country.
Upon the approval of the Law Ministry, the Tourism Ministry planned to place the draft Casinos Bill 2018 for Cabinet approval in June 2018. However, the plan did not plan materialize and was cancelled abruptly.
Surprisingly, the Ministry officials are also uncertain about the change in plan.
“As the ministry wants to integrate the casino law into the new Tourism Act, the plan to enact a separate piece of legislation may have been cancelled,” say the Ministry officials.
Tourist entrepreneurs feel that lack of a separate law for casinos will limit the industry’s potential in attracting foreign investment and addressing possible risk factors.
Stating that absence of a relevant act will lead to high investment risk in the industry, the entrepreneurs urged the government to recheck if they would be capable of governing the industry just through addition of some related special provisions in the Tourist Act.
Although the Casino Regulation 2013 Act has been in place to regulate the casinos, the government thought of introducing a separate one owing to the irregularities in the industry with many evading taxes and royalties.