Central bank threatens to take winnings


Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s central bank, said that foreigners may be barred from taking home winnings from unlicensed casinos. Nine of the country’s 10 casinos  have been operating without licenses since 2006 after accumulating a combined $6.3 million in back taxes and fees. The casinos, which can legally only admit foreigners, are supposed to pay $230,000 a  year to renew their licenses, among other charges. Only Shangri-La Hotel Ltd, unrelated to the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La hotel group, has so far submitted the required proof of payment of taxes and fees owed, though three other hotels also applied for license renewal, including the Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee. That hotel’s chairman said it had not yet paid fees due because of a legal fight over whether it or  casino operator Nepal Recreation Center is responsible for the charges. Police meanwhile arrested five Nepalis for gambling at the Casino Shangri-la and picked up six for illegal gambling in Dhading.