Nepal: Tourism ministry asks five casinos to pay royalties within seven days, warns of action

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Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has send a notice to five casinos for not paying royalties asking them to clear their dues within seven days, waring that action will be taken if the dues aren’t paid in time.

The Department of Tourism was prompted to send the letters to the casinos by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale who said that the casinos need to pay the remaining royalty. Previously, a casino operator trying to flee to the United States without paying royalties, renewal fees and fines, was released on Prime Bank bail.

The ministry on Tuesday sent letters to Hotel Yak & Yeti Limited Durbarmarg, Oriental Hotels Limited (Radisson Hotel) Lazimpat, Rock International Pvt Ltd Kathmandu, Happy Hour Pvt Ltd Kathmandu and Central Media Pvt Ltd to clear the dues they owe to the government as royalties.

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As per the ministry, Hotel Yak & Yeti Limited Durbar Marg Kathmandu needs to pay Rs 206.81 million, Oriental Hotels Limited (Radisson Hotel) Lazimpat Rs 187.6 million, Rock International Kathmandu Rs 114.58 million, Happy Hour Pvt Ltd Rs 215.5 million, and Central Media Kathmandu has yet to pay Rs 133.95 million as of FY 2019/20.

Apart from that ministry also shared that that a week’s notice has been give as the remaining dues have not been paid even though the notice was issued on October 24 and January 11, with 35 days and 15 days deadline, respectively.

Department of Tourism shared that SHL Management Pvt Ltd which operates casinos in Shangrila of Kathmandu and in Tiger Palace Hotel in Rupandehi has paid the bail amount of Rs 142 million. 

Mike Bolsover, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SHL Management Pvt Ltd, who hasn’t yet paid Rs 142 million in royalties, fines and two-year renewal fees for operating the casino was stopped at the airport from leaving the country on January 15 under the direction of Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Aviation, Prem Bahadur Ale.