HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Following the directives from Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) has prepared the draft regulation aiming at simplifying the licensing process of casinos.
Unlike the present licencing system, the new regulation plans to grant licence to the casinos instead to the hotels. Currently, only five-star hotels can get the licence to operate casinos at their premises.
“The ministry has been holding intensive dialogues with hotel entrepreneurs and stakeholders to bring the new regulation as per international standards,” the source said, adding that operation of casinos under the hotel management is not in practise globally.
The ministry has started drafting the new regulation after the PAC under Legisture-Parliament on February 2 directed it to preapre the regulation within 15 days. The PAC has also asked the ministry to inform the committee of the regulation. The new regulation will also deal with key aspects like entry of Nepalis, checking the slut machines and labelling them, regulating the entry point of casino and security of foreign citizens.
“However, the ministry is discussing on whether or not to let Nepalis enter into the casinos,” he said.
Earlier, speaking at the PAC meeting on February 2, finance ministry officials have said that Nepalis could be allowed to enter the casinos but after the strict regulatory mechanism.
The new regulation will also make it mandatory to register casino machines. “We are also introducing stickers to the verified machine,” he said, adding that the provision will reduce the present accusation of operating more machine than they are permitted.
“The Nepali casinos are also facing the charge of converting the setting of machine according to their interest,” the official said, adding that the new regulation will also clearly have the provision to check machine frequently, alongwith registered entry for the customers.
As suggested by the finance ministry, the draft also envisions the phasewise shifting of casinos outside the valley.
The regulation will be forwarded to the home ministry and finance ministry for their suggestions and after their suggestions it will be published.
Monitoring committee formed
KATHMANDU: The MoTCA has decided to form a three-member Casino Monitoring Committee led by undersecretary. It will consist two officials from Tourism Industry Division and one from Administration and Tourism Promotion Division. The committee is mandated to monitor whether casinos are abiding by the law of the land before and after getting licence, whether they are paying tax regularly or not and whether they have developed the entry point of casino as per commitment or not. It will also be responsible to monitor the security situation of tourists who frequent the casino. The ministry has so far been only issuing licence but has not monitoring.