Govt. puts casino consent on hold

21 October 2013 10:20 pm - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Amid sharp protests from various quarters, the government last night decided to shelve the decision to approve regulations governing two gazette notifications for the establishment of two casino centres in Colombo, sources said.

They said the decision was taken at a special meeting convened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the leaders of the government alliance partners. At the meeting, it is learnt that the two main government allies – the SLMC and the JHU, had opposed to the gazette notifications.

It was also decided to amend the two gazette notifications and present it on a later date. The amendments will likely include a clause restricting entry to the gaming centres in the city for foreigners only.

At the meeting, JNP leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa said he would make his stance known today whether he would vote for the regulation or not.
The regulations which would provide tax concessions to two casino centres in Colombo, were earlier scheduled to  be debated on October 24 and 25 and taken up for voting on October 25, following a gazette notification tabled in parliament by Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana, under the Strategic Development Act. (Kelum Bandara)

  Comments - 23

  • Cobra Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:38 AM

    This is a case of waiting for the dust to settle and maybe discretely put it through during the next cricket tournament held in the Island when all of Lanka are glued to their TV's!

    KK Tuesday, 22 October 2013 06:02 AM

    Case of tax foxing for gambling vs. essentials. If taxed as usual,elephant going white.

    ANTON Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:53 AM

    YES, UNTIL THEY WRAP UP CHOGM.

    Terrence de Silva Tuesday, 22 October 2013 01:21 AM

    CASINOS RESTRICTED FOR FOREIGNERS ONLY WILL BE A DISCRIMINATION TO THE FREEDOM OF SRI LANKANS IN THEIR OWN C OUNTRY

    ANTON Tuesday, 22 October 2013 01:46 AM

    PRAISE THE LORD, VERY HAPPY NEWS FOR SRILANKAN WIVES.

    Simple mind Tuesday, 22 October 2013 01:51 AM

    So the casino bill presented under strategic development strategically withdrawn to be enacted through other strategic ways.

    Amila. G Tuesday, 22 October 2013 02:24 AM

    Let's have every bloody thing on this land and make it a. Free and fun place to be in Asia. Protesting . Will only delay such moves but will happen anyway.

    lankan Tuesday, 22 October 2013 02:24 AM

    Now most of the house maids does not not want to go moddle east countries. they get job in Casinos.

    firnaz Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:00 AM

    good news . casino is not good for human life it will degenerate their life and thier investment planning . without making business, getting money or losing money is UNFAIR

    R.Dias Tuesday, 22 October 2013 07:40 AM

    Before implementation...there should be effective regulatory system...look at Rathupaswala...today in Piliyandala.. those issues are due to lack of a proper Reglatory system...

    casino can make the whole country sick..

    Perumal Tuesday, 22 October 2013 02:42 AM

    Will see to it that Highways are available for motor racing, Cities for casinos (and all the vice), forest conservation and archaeological sites for hotels and timber trading and even sports for gambling. "Matha" & "Thitha" will go their own different ways.

    carlos Tuesday, 22 October 2013 08:05 AM

    If Sri Lankans want to gamble they do it anyway under each street lamp , all they need is a pack of cards or a set of dice.
    so whats he big deal? At least its going to be controlled and regulated, including th prostitution side of it, which gos on away around each street corner.
    Why dont these bleedingheart do gooders fom all the religious organisations go around and do some good to the poor and disadvantaged on the streets

    Roshantha Tuesday, 22 October 2013 08:25 AM

    I cannot understand the big fuss made about opening casinos in Sri Lanka. Major investments coming into the country and bringing in foreign exchange is good for a country. We already have casinos operating down Galle Road. What's not right is the tax. If appropriate taxes are levied then this should not be an issue. If casinos are bad then bars serving liquor in hotels is equally bad and should also be banned. Those who patronizes these places are those that can afford. It is the freedom of the people what they choose to do whether it's good or bad.

    Don Tuesday, 22 October 2013 08:26 AM

    Mr. Kelum Bandara,
    If the Casinos are going to operate with two existing Licences where they are already paying taxes, how can you say that these casinos will have tax rebates. We understand that the tax rebate is only for the hotel project where the casino is going to be located.

    Though UNP is now opposing casinos for purely for political reasons, it is them who introduced casinos to Sri Lanka with Joe Simm from Hong Kong in the 1980s.

    Hena gahapiya Tuesday, 22 October 2013 08:43 AM

    Mona magulata da apita maywa

    MirakRajBanda Tuesday, 22 October 2013 09:04 AM

    I have no dobut if this government open brothels to ''boost'' the economy!!! Majority in the cabinet including the hardliners will show ''Green Light'' for ''Red Light''!
    This country increasingly becoming another Thailand!!

    Lucky Weeramantry Wednesday, 23 October 2013 09:57 AM

    Sri Lanka Is Old Fashioned, Should Move up Fast With Other Countries. If The High Taxes Paid That's All It Matters. This Is Where Freedom And Human Rights Come To Play.

    peiris Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:02 AM

    sri lanka must decide if they want to improve their life and move forward or go back to the dark old days as a 3ed or 4th world style of living . if people don't like gambling don't go to casinos.
    casinos similar to crown by packer are for the high end spenders.Jobs, money for sri lanka.wake up and support MR.

    Concerned Citizen Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:04 AM

    Sri Lanka cannot reform the world of corruption. I think Sri Lanka should attract mega-investments from major foreign companies. Though gambling is not the best, an investment on the scale proposed in the hospitality industry would be a major boost for confidence in the country by other foreign entrepreneurs.. Sri Lanka's future lies on tourist visiting the country and seeing for themselves the true situation, which would be the easiest way to counter LTTE' symdicate's false propaganda.

    old citizen Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:11 AM

    Coming colour is not good .

    gowravi Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:14 AM

    This will be passed in Dec, soon after CHOGM, before X'Mas & new yr

    Casino King Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:19 AM

    These protests are from outdated thinkers who want this country to be a third world. Look at Las Vegas, Macau and many other places where the Casino's help the country to prosper. Even Malaysia has Gentin Island. These extremist should allow the government to carry on with its programmes on tourism and casinos. The income generated will help in reducing taxes on essentials. If properly managed Casinos and Oil exploration will make us the wonder of Asia.

    Zscore Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:09 AM

    That's surprising. The newspapers back here in Perth talk about how they have appointed Michael Clark as an ambassador to SL to promote the casinos


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