Ousted Indian Boss of Nepal’s Casino Monopoly is Negotiating to Return

Indian born owner of Nepalese casino monopoly contemplates return to the country after fleeing due to unpaid royalties.

Indian casino king to return from exile

Mr. Rakesh Wadhwa, an Indian national who previously controlled the majority of Nepal’s Casino Monopoly, is now seeking forgiveness and permission to return, after having to flee Nepal due to a dispute with the government. Mr. Wadhwa, an Indian businessman, once owned seven out of ten casinos in Nepal, but was forced to flee to New Dehli after the Nepalese Royal Police accused him of cheating the government out of their correct share of the taxes.

King Rakesh, as he was known in Nepal, started out as a casino operator in India, and eventually became the owner of multiple casinos legitimized by Indian gambling laws. At this point he understood that taking over the improperly operated casino monopoly in Nepal would be a much faster way to realize a quicker profit. For many years, after agreeing to pay a hefty share of taxes and bribes, he operated Nepal’s major casinos with little regard for prior agreements, siphoning off millions of dollars in profits.

During his hiatus in India, after being expelled from Nepal, Mr. Rakesh operated a number of casinos but quickly saw that the money made was significantly lower than what he was making in Nepal. He decided to arrange a truce with the government of Nepal, and in exchange for paying a hefty fine, he was hoping that Nepal would drop a warrant for his arrest for an array of criminal charges.

Rakesh Wadhwa recently submitted a promise to repay NRS 244 million that he owes the Nepalese state in exchange for a pardon and the right for him to resume the control of the original seven casinos. He submitted a bold and far reaching proposal, which so far has been received with a heavy dose of skepticism by a group of Nepalese MPs, still holding a grudge against him for cheating them out of their percentage of the casinos profits.

Negotiations are currently underway to iron out all the difference between the government and Mr. Rakesh. Meanwhile he diversified into internet gambling, owning several online casinos in India, and proposed to the Nepalese government a plan to set up a license based system of online casinos, under Nepal’s regulation.

The population of Nepal would not be permitted to gamble within the network. So far there has been a positive reaction from the Parliament of Nepal. Indian internet casinos will serve as a model for developing such facilities in Nepal. The Tourism ministry has recently submitted a second proposal to the Parliament strongly in favor of legalizing internet and mobile casinos for use by foreigners.

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