Kathmandu: Amid stepped up pressure on
casino owners in Nepal, Indian `Casino King` Rakesh Wadhwa has
expressed his willingness to clear all tax liabilities if the
government withdraws an arrest warrant issued against him.
Most of the casinos in Nepal have failed to clear
their tax liabilities. Wadhwa, who is in New Delhi for the
past four months after Nepalese authorities issued arrest
warrant against him, sought more time to clear all his tax
"I have no intention to avoid paying taxes and staff
salaries, but I need some time to clear all tax dues," Prakash
Thapa, Casino Nepal?s trade union president, quoted Wadhwa as
Thapa along with other trade union leaders had gone to
India to meet him and request the release of staff salaries.
"We asked Wadhwa to release our salary and allowances
and pay his tax liabilities to the government for smooth
operation of the casino," Thapa said in the capital.
Wadhwa told him that he wanted to return to Nepal and
clear all dues if the arrest warrant is withdrawn and
favourable atmosphere is created for him to run his business.
Presently, only five-star hotels are entitled to
operate casinos on their premises. Wadhwa runs four casinos in
Nepal - Casino Tara and Casino Everest, Casino Nepal and
Casino Anna. Casino Nepal and Casino Anna - have tax
liabilities of NRs. 24 crore.
Last month, the government began the process to close
down some of the casinos in Nepal that attracts thousands of
foreign tourists, mostly Indians, after recommendations from
the finance ministry for tax evasions.
Even though gambling is illegal in Nepal, eight hotels
in the capital and two in the popular tourist town of Pokhara
run casinos under special government permits that bars local
The government is considering lifting the ban on
Nepalese in casinos by formulating regulations that allows big
tax payers to gamble, sources said.