Indian 'Casino King' under scanner in Nepal

After filing cases against the five casino operators in Nepal, the authorities have asked Rakesh Wadhwa, chief of the Nepal Recreation Centre (NRC) that manages at least five casinos in the country, to clear multi-million rupees worth dues to the government.
Wadhwa owes some Rs.200 million as royalty and taxes to the government for his five casinos, according to the police.

Gambling is illegal in Nepal, but eight hotels in the capital operate casinos under special government licences that only allow them to admit foreign customers.

According to the the authorities, casinos routinely flout the law by allowing locals to gamble. The Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Circle arrested 28 gamblers from different casinos last week.

Police has announced that action will be taken against casinos who entertain Nepalese clients.The police issued search warrants to general managers of Casino Nepal, Casino Anna, Casino Shangrila, Casino Tara and Casino Everest, which are being operated under the Nepal Recreation Centre (NRC).

Cases have been filed against five general managers of the casinos for allowing Nepalese gamblers, said Superintendent of Police Bhog Bahadur Thapa, who is also the chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Circle.

Once they appear before the Kathmandu District Court they can be released by paying nominal fine, he said.

He denied media reports that arrest warrant has been issued against the Wadhwa. The government has only asked the casino operator to pay the dues, he said.Kantipur daily, a national newspaper, had reported that the police have issued arrest warrant against Wadhwa.

The casinos, which are facing heavy financial burden due to over staffing and slump in business, are unable to pay the dues for years, say casino operators. They have started entertaining Nepalese clients in violation of local laws to shore up profits.

There are eight casinos in the capital and two in the tourist city of Pokhara. Nepal Recreation Centre (NRC), owned by Wadha, runs five casinos--Soaltee (Casino Nepal), Anna, Everest and Sangrila, media reports said.

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