The Nepalese capital city of Kathmandu, once the proud oldest gambling Mecca of South Asia, is a specter of its former self. Violent gangs of casino union members are fighting each other as well as fellow faction members, to ensure survival in the lucrative world of Nepalese gambling.
In February of 2011, all eight casinos were closed by the order of the government. It is likely for casinos to reopen on June 1, after heavy civil unrest from the unemployed but powerful casino unions.
The ultra-strict Nepalese gambling laws forbid all forms of gambling to citizens of Nepal. The eight casinos are a separately operated business attached to all eight 5-star-hotels in Kathmandu. Every casino continues to remain open despite the ban, with dealers, croupiers and pit-boss at their stations. However, tourists have not been allowed to gamble since February 2011.
The three leading factions in Nepal’s politics are the Marxist/Leninists Communists, the Maoist Communists and the Royal factions. Each faction is broken up into multiple sub-factions which are killing, kidnapping and assaulting one another on what seems to be a daily basis for the ultimate prize – complete domination of all eight of Kathmandu casinos.
The Marxist/Leninist Communist Faction and the Maoist Communists
The Marxist communists, who are currently in control of Nepal’s parliament, threw out all eight casinos out of the capital city in mid-February, after declaring them a den of capitalist vice and corruption.
The opposition party, who follow Chairman Mao’s flavor of communism, and are in control of the majority of casino unions, remained defiant and refused to leave, even though they did forbid gambling within the casinos.
For three months, all eight casinos remained open without a single foreign gambler brave enough to enter.
Nepalese citizens are forbidden all forms of gambling, and the tourists who still come to Nepal prefer to gamble only with Mount Everest.
In early May of 2011, both the followers of Karl Max and Chairman Mao each had a painful realization that for communism to function properly it must be fully subsidized by capitalism or must enslave the majority of the population. Otherwise, without positive cash flow, the army was likely to mutiny.
After carefully weighing out the options, the decision to re-open all eight casinos seemed preferable to catching and enslaving the Nepalese population spread over the cold and unfriendly Himalayan Mountains.
The Royal Prince Faction
Paras Shah, the former Crown Prince of Nepal, whose family also owns a few of the casinos, refused the Marxists order to close down his casinos as well.
Paras Shah, described as a semi-deranged alcoholic by his followers, or a degenerate blood thirsty maniac by his enemies has serious problems with alcoholism and unprovoked violence. The Prince, who rarely sleeps and loves to party, spends his night walking around the empty Royal Casino, slapping around dealers and brawling with Royal Hotel guests.
Reportedly the prince prefers to play online casinos in Nepal, which are hosted in foreign countries and not subject to Nepalese gambling laws.
Prince Paras, who the previous week was acquitted of shooting a few members of the former Prime Minister’s family, stumbled into Royal Casino the past Saturday in a alcohol (or drug) induced blackout.
Most, if not all, of the poker playing foreign residents will politely avoid the invitation to a possible shootout and instead take their chances and play online poker in Nepal at a reputable internet poker website hosted outside of the country.