Govt tightens noose on casinos, introduces new rules

Kathmandu, September 18

The government has issued a new set of rules for casinos when it comes to the sharing of information related to clients, management of assets and monitoring of suspicious activities.

According to the new rule, it is now mandatory for operators to maintain a record of visitors as well as clients. The government has also asked casinos to restrict the entry of people involved in suspicious activities and inform police officials immediately. Under prevailing laws, it is illegal for Nepali nationals to be allowed inside a casino. Only foreign nationals are allowed to gamble in casinos in Nepal.

The new directives state that casinos have to inform the government and Nepal Rastra Bank about wins and losses over Rs 1 million within 15 days. If the casino thinks a client is using suspicious money, it has to prepare a report and inform NRB’s financial information unit (FIU) within three days.

Casino operators will also not be allowed to share records and data with third parties. The directive states that information that identifies individuals can be shared with FIU only. Action will be taken against the casino is the operators or staff leaks information. Casinos have been asked to safeguard records (both digital and physical) for five years. They will have to submit information to the FIU whenever asked.

The directive also states that casino operators cannot use personal accounts for business purposes. The account has to be under the casino’s name. Action will be taken against the operator if the account is under personal name or names of staff or family. Casinos will also have to file the names of staff to the Department of Tourism and FIU every year. If they change staff, the casino has to inform both DoT and FIU within 15 days.

The government will also be monitoring casino operators for money laundering. The directive states that casino operators have to submit reports to DoT every four months to prove they aren’t involved in money laundering. If casino operators do not follow rules, the government can fine them up to Rs 50 million.

If the casinos do not follow the directives, the government can lodge a fine of Rs 5 million. Similarly, if the casino doesn’t keep customer information, they will be fined Rs 1 million. A fine of Rs 50 million will be imposed on anonymous and fictitious transactions.

Published on September 18th, Wednesday, 2019 1:57 PM

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