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Nepal – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Nepal is a country in South Asia, located in the northern part of India. The official language is Nepalese – however, you can easily communicate in English if you are thinking of taking a trip since most of the people make their money working in tourism. Kathmandu is the capital of the country and one of the most visited cities. Nepal is best known for the highest mountain in the world, the famous Mount Everest. In fact, Nepal is home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world that are all over 8,000 meters above sea level. The country has a relatively relaxed stance when it comes to gambling. However, there are some important distinctions made between the local population and foreign tourists.
As previously mentioned, there is a substantial difference if you are planning on playing at a Nepalese Casino as a foreign tourist compared to doing so as one of the local population. The country is home to more than 10 casinos but these gambling halls are only open to foreigners. Nepalese citizens are generally prohibited from gambling. However, the government is not blocking access to any online casinos that are located outside the country. Furthermore, there are no known instances where people got fined or prosecuted for gambling abroad over the internet. As a result of that liberal approach, many online casinos opened up their doors for players from Nepal. Before you start playing you should ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Check the jurisdiction of the online casino
- Does the casino accept players from Nepal?
- Do you have access to the accepted payment methods?
- Is the casino properly licensed to ensure fair gaming?
- Use a VPN connection to access the casino
- Be aware of the legal situation and the risk involved
- The minimum age for foreign tourists in Nepalese casinos is 21
- Alone casinos generally only accept players over the age of 18
In order to get a good overview of what online casinos are suited for players from Nepal, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists.
In 2005, the Tourism Industry Division of Nepal drafted the first gambling and casino bill, which ultimately didn’t come to fruition. Only in the year 2013 was the topic was picked up again and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs passed a new Gambling Act. The new legislation would formally legalize the sector and allow foreign tourists to play at Nepalese land-based casinos. Locals are still prohibited from these casinos. Obtaining a casino license is quite simple but relatively costly. Operators have to pay an initial licensing fee of 20 million Nepalese rupees (approximately 170,000 US dollars), in addition to an annual fee of 10 million Nepalese rupees and an annual royalty fee of 20 Million Nepalese rupees.
Online casinos are prohibited in Nepal but the government has not created any relevant legal framework that would outlaw or ban foreign-based operators. This creates a gray area and makes it possible for Nepalese players to access many international online casinos.
Many foreign-based online casinos do accept players from Nepal but are typically not directly catering specifically to that market. That means that you have to rely on English-speaking customer support. The casino websites themselves can often be used in multiple languages but, at this point, we are not aware of any platform supporting the Nepali language. Usually, you can find a vast variety of international promotions and bonus offers that are designed for the international market. It is advisable to study the bonus terms before signing up to one of the online casinos. In this way, you can make sure that you are eligible or not. Common payment solutions include credit cards, wire transfers, eWallets, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Foreign tourists can play at the local casinos with Nepalese rupees. Larger casinos usually offer a currency exchange service and sometimes even accept foreign currencies such as the US dollar, the euro, and the Chinese renminbi. All of them are outfitted with ATMs where you can easily withdraw Nepalese rupees.
If you are planing at an online casino that is licensed abroad, you will most likely be forced to play in a different currency as the Nepalese rupees are not supported. Common options include euros and the US dollar. It is still possible to deposit with your payment methods but your bank might charge you a small currency conversion fee. Also, be aware that some banks in Nepal do not allow card payments or wire transfers to foreign online casinos. As an alternative, you could use your payment card to fund an eWallet such as Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal and transfer money to your casino account this way.
Foreigners have the opportunity to visit several dozen land-based casinos in Nepal. One of the most glamorous casinos is the Tiger Palace Resort Casino located on the outskirts of Bhairahawa, just 12 kilometers south of the Nepal-India border, and is, therefore, insanely popular amongst tourists from India. Another luxury destination is the Casino Mahjong at Crowne Plaza Soaltee in capital Kathmandu that reopened in 2015. Other options include the 5-star hotel Millionaire’s Club and Casino at Shangri La in Kathmandu, the Casino Royale in Kathmandu, and the Casino Pride which is located in the 5-star Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu.
International online casinos that are open for Nepalese players are regulated in their respected jurisdictions and overseen by strict online gambling regulators in Malta, Curaçao, Gibraltar, or Kahnawake, amongst others.