Kathmandu (Agencies): After months of harsh fight between Nepal's communist-led government and the republic's casinos, where an Indian businessman held major stakes, the death knell finally sounded for the gaming industry with revenue authorities seeking to scrap the licence of eight of the 10 casinos.

After a 35-day deadline slapped by a Parliamentary committee on the casinos to clear their dues to the state, which ran into millions of rupees, expired on Friday, the Department of Revenue Investigation on Sunday directed the Tourism Ministry to revoke the licences of the eight defaulting casinos.

The casinos, which will lose their licence are Casino Nepal, the oldest in South Asia, Casino Rad, Venus, Grande, Royale, Anna, Shangri-la and Fulbari.

Two of these are in Pokhara city—Casino Grande and Casino Fulbari—while the other six are concentrated in Kathmandu.

Only two casinos—Casino Tara and Everest—cleared their dues after the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament last month cautioned that the defaulters were liable to lose their licence. The remaining eight collectively owe the state about NRS 355 million.

Initially, most of the casinos in the capital were run by Nepal Recreation Center that had a virtual monopoly over the business. A businessman now believed to be based in New Delhi, Rakesh Wadhwa, was its managing director.

Casino Nepal and Anna, two of the casinos that still remain under NRC, failed to take note of the call to pay their dues while the others paid some of the amount and asked for more time.

The situation has become complicated with some of the hotels from where the casinos were operating throwing out NRC for being behind with rent and announcing their plan to run the casinos on their own.

The screws tightened on the casino industry that employs over 7,000 people after a dispute between the ruling communist party and the Maoists for control of the trade unions.

To wipe out the Maoist stronghold on the casinos, the government stepped up raids on the casinos, which are obligated by law to bar admission to Nepalis but had been allowing them on the sly as the number of Indian gamblers dipped.

The Parliamentary committee has also asked the government to reposition the Kathmandu casinos outside the capital, saying they created a law and order problem.

Wadhwa fled Nepal after a warrant was issued for his arrest and is now believed to be trying to sell his venture to two Indian investors.