Kathmandu: Police in Nepal have launched a crackdown on casino operators, charging them with breaking the law by allowing local people to gamble, Kathmandu police chief Bhog Bahadur Thapa said on Thursday.
Gambling is illegal in Nepal, but eight hotels in the capital Kathmandu operate casinos under special government licences that only allow them to admit foreign customers.
Police say five of the casinos routinely flout the law by allowing locals to gamble, and they have issued warrants for the arrest of their owners.
"The Nepal government issues licences for the casinos on condition that they only allow foreigners to gamble," Thapa said. "They are violating the law by letting Nepalese citizens gamble."
Police in Kathmandu conduct regular raids on casinos and arrest locals found gambling. Thapa said 28 arrests had been made during the recent festival period in Nepal.
Nepal's first casino opened in 1968 in a hotel owned by former king Gyanendra and the industry has long been a draw for tourists from neighbouring India.
First Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010, 15:19