Massive Casino resort in Colombo

4 June 2013 11:35 pm - 40     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A massive Las Vegas-style Casino resort with a minimum of 400 rooms would be set up along D.R. Wijewardane Mawatha in Colombo, with a US$ 350 million investment, it was revealed in Parliament yesterday.

It is an investment by Australian casino mogul James Packer. The project will enjoy tax concessions for more than ten years.

The government has enacted the Casino Business Regulation Act to provide for such businesses in the country.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake raised the issue in Parliament having circulated a letter sent by Finance Ministry Director General K.M.M. Siriwardene to the Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI).

According to the letter, the project will be given recognition under the Strategic Development Project Act No 14 of 2008. It is a law introduced by the government to give facilities for large Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the country.  Quoting from the letter, Mr. Dissanayake said the project would be located on a land belonging to the Government Supplies Department.

The project’s foreign investors are Crown Ltd., of Crown Towers, No:8 Whiteman, St. Southbank 3006, Victoria, Australia and Allinga Pvt Ltd of No:26-03 Centennial Towers, Singapore 039190. They will hold 55 per cent equity in the company. The local collaborator will be M.S. Rank Entertainment Holdings (Pvt) Ltd in Kollupitiya.

The investment will be exempted from the Corporate Income Tax for as much as ten years. It will be exempted from Betting and Gaming Levy and income tax. All project-related imports will also be exempt from Customs duty.

“This is an investment by leading Australian Casino businessman James Packer who recently met higher-ups in the government,” Mr. Dissanayake said.
Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane responding said this would be an investment of US$350 million aimed at generating 2,600 direct employment opportunities and numerous other indirect employment opportunities. The minister said there would be a star grade resort with a minimum of 400 rooms.

“It will have facilities for retail shopping, entertainment. There will be fine dining restaurants and meeting and convention facilities,” he said and added that the BoI had been entrusted and empowered to attract investments.

“The government’s target is 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016. We are targeting a foreign direct investment of US$ 2 billion. We have followed the legal procedure in giving tax concessions for projects meant to achieve these targets,” the minister said. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan perera)

  Comments - 40

  • mithraya Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:39 AM

    Now were is hela urumaya(JHU), BBS, Ravana force, NLF.??? Now come-out and show your true intentions!!!

    wise Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:40 AM

    Yes Halal Casino......good luck.

    Mutu Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:39 AM

    Who cares about Buddhism or Buddhist culture when money rolls in.

    To hell with worries about prostitution. Somalatha, Siriyawathie, Sellamma and Fathima can find employment they lost from closed garment factories.

    Chintanayata Jayawewa.

    wise Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:41 AM

    Highways to drive fast,Casinos to win or loose fast........National Policy.

    peace lover Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:41 AM

    still i remember that how late president R.Premadasa act on to wipe the casino business from the country.but now??????

    Concerned Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:41 AM

    I do not wish to tell my children that they are in a country with so much of development and their development comes from casino money.

    sss Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:49 AM

    sadu sadu

    Lankan Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:42 AM

    Director genral will be Ganasara Amadrooooooow

    Sadu sadu!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ape budda ratata!!!!!!!!!!!!!sasu

    PRASANNAJIT Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:18 AM

    This was the only thing which was lacking in this country. Are you going to call this " Buddha's land" anymore?

    Chris Wednesday, 05 June 2013 01:02 AM

    Hope the government has the guts to carry this through. This is what the country needs to bring in tourism. The critics must look at Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and learn.

    Rico Thursday, 06 June 2013 07:25 AM

    Good news as for foreign investment leading to tourism industry to grow but poor decision to allow them 10 years of tax redemption.

    Vaz Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:27 AM

    Any Buddhist monk going to sacrifice life against this ? Specially a monk fom JHU ?

    Fassey Thursday, 06 June 2013 03:01 AM

    They are more concerned about cattle not human quality

    HiFarzan Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:55 AM

    In Casino, there is no use of drugs and lickers, so mathata thitha
    No prostitution Also.
    It will help only poor Sri Lanka citizens
    Good move....

    Ken Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:31 AM

    Yes its called development

    Jaya Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:32 AM

    Yep. Lottt of indirect employment. also we'll see a large raise in young "tourists" from Russia and China. You know what I'm talking about

    Meril Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:59 AM

    Ravana Balaya is opposing for the construction of a temple. So lets sit back and see their reaction toward the usd 350 million worth project

    Ken Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:32 AM

    I'll definitely be visiting SL more often.

    Savvy Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:02 AM

    Very good move for the buddist to earn money for the government...end of times to Lanka

    Kalu Banda Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:06 AM

    Hakke Budu Ras Bokke Dada Mas !

    alisten Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:43 AM

    closed on poya day , open to foreginers, more chinse more crooks, what else u need this country, more brothels

    R.Rohan Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:07 AM

    Welcome news, Sri Lanka needs to change with time.

    Mouth agape Wednesday, 05 June 2013 01:58 AM

    How are casinos compatible with Buddhism, Las Vegas style also means crime and prostitution. And, Las Vegas is well known too for its beef steak!

    Pradeep Gomes Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:13 AM

    This is what we expect from MR Government

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:49 AM

    Casino itself is a gambling den and a vice.

    unchikun Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:51 AM

    Why are people so dumb?

    Saranga Walimuni Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:20 AM

    I am sorry UNP and JVP need to move on, I live in Melbourne Australia and Crown has been a blood line to the city. It's up to the Gov in any country to bring or amend the laws just like in Sri Lanka, this is not a normal bookie joint, these are properly run casinos with way better regulations.

    We are talking about $350 million investment
    and over 2600 job for our youth , much needed and what an uplift to Sri Lanka's profile?????
    Please for country sake, put your cheap politics aside. JVP no better than occupying on roads asking more and more

    BudinOz Wednesday, 05 June 2013 02:07 AM

    2.5m tourists include me, my family and friends who are Sri Lankan born and living overseas having foreign passports.

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 05 June 2013 09:03 AM

    What is left are the cowards.

    pasha Wednesday, 05 June 2013 09:04 AM

    They will ask to use vegetarian non halal food.

    Waz Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:17 PM

    BBS Sleeping....................?

    C.SENEVERATNE Wednesday, 05 June 2013 06:54 AM

    Invest on cattle slaughter.

    SG Monday, 08 July 2013 02:34 AM

    Interesting response to the new casino deal for Colombo. I am open to FDI intiatives in Sri Lanka that will help develop the country's economy.
    The jury is out their whether this will be a boon or bane for lanka, which we all love.
    Worth looking at the Indian model for gambling. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits running or being in charge of a public gaming house. It prohibits visiting of gambling houses. Why did India, the world's 2nd largest new economy decided to go this way? Not because they don't want invest in foreign direct investment ... surely!
    Food for thought for our political leaders who negotiated this deal. The real litmus test is - Does the benefits (financial and non-financial) of this deal in the next 10 years (from 2016) out way the dis-benefits? Obviously no such analysis has been done, nor the Indian model considered thanks to our brilliant and far thinking politicians!

    Ruban Hudosn Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:30 PM

    why India does not have casino

    does any one know ????????????

    Yapa Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:11 AM

    Casino is opened to provide direct employment for rural youth not to indulge in vice.

    Tokyo Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:33 PM

    what would be the benifit for our country if it doesnt subject to corporate Tax and Income Tax? $350M for Ten years giving after a land worth of millions? doesnt need rocket science to understand the true benifits.

    Mi Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:41 PM

    Shhhhhhh do not talk about beef but steak

    say something Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:31 AM

    Can expect more killings, this time more sophisticated.

    Inium Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:49 PM

    Where is so called saviors of Buddhism , BBS and Ravana Balgaya. Will they utter a single word against it?

    willows Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:32 AM

    It is really a good move, why can't you guys see positively???


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