The Nepalese government has u-turned on its decision to pass a separate Casino Act, and is now looking to attach casino-related laws into its Tourism Act, Kathmandu Post reports.
“We will bring the Casino Act, but not separately,” said Tourism Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota. “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.”
“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 canceled,” they said.
The decision is a turnaround from its announcement in June, which promised to submit a new bill aimed at encouraging foreign investment into the sector through the Casino Bill 2018.
The new Act was made to bring existing casinos in line as they have been operating freely without paying taxes and royalties to the government.
However, the recent decision has disappointed tourism entrepreneurs, who believe the laws will not be strong enough to properly govern the industry.