Tourism entrepreneurs warn hiking in casino’s royalty may hamper tourism industry

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Expressing worry over the possible closure of casinos in the city stating that the government’s move will affect tourist flow as they have remained one of the major tools to lure tourists in Pokhara, a tourist hum city of Nepal, the entrepreneurs criticized the government’s initiation to increase the royalty fees of casinos. They also pressed the government to displace maximum plasticity and create the good environment for the operation of casino in fearless environment.

More than fifty percent of the casino house operating in Pokhara pulled their shutter down after many years of after the government doubled the royalty fee. The government hiked the royalty fees of casinos by 100 percent while announcing the budget for the fiscal year 2013/14, last week.

Hari Sharma, president of Paschimanchal Hotel Association said that the decision to increase royalty fee in the name of barring the entry of Nepalis in casinos has made it difficult for casino operators to sustain their business

It is estimated that nearly 70,000 tourists visiting Nepal enter casinos to get entertainment. Among them, around 30 percent international tourist visit Pokhara for the purpose.

According to Tikaram Sapkota, member of tourism board, pulling down the shutter of casino will mar touristic activities in Pokhara adding casino is essential means to promote tourism industry.

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