Nepal government relaxes border casino restrictions

The Nepalese government has relaxed the minimum distance requirement for setting up casinos near international borders, local media reports. 

In a cabinet meeting on June 27, it was decided that casinos and electronic gaming houses will be allowed to operate up to a distance of 3km from the international border. In the original clause, the venues had to be at least 5km away from the international border. 

“The government has shown flexibility by allowing casinos to operate at a distance of up to 3 km from international borders in the context of the upcoming Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign,” said Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, spokesperson for the ministry.

A number of operators in Kakarbhitta, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Nepalgunj, and Dhangadhi had raised concerns over the restrictions, he said. 

As well as amending the casino regulation, the Department of Tourism says it has also been working on a new Casino Act, which will come attached with the tourism act, according to Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire.

The new Casino Act will aim to streamline the industry and encourage new global players to enter Nepal. The draft is in the final stage, according to Ghimire.