James Packer's Crown Group says it will not go ahead with a proposed plan to develop a $400 million luxury hotel and resort in Sri Lanka, following a decision by the government in Colombo to scrap tax concessions for the project.
On Thursday Sri Lanka's new government decided to cancel generous tax concessions for three foreign resort developments – including Mr Packer's resort – and said it would not issue them licenses to run casinos.
A spokeswoman from Crown said the company respected the decision and on that basis the project would not be going ahead.
The concessions were given under the former government of Mahinda Rajapaksa but critics in Sri Lanka opposed the move to give tax breaks to foreign gaming ventures.
Speaking to politicians, Sri Lanka's new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would withdraw the tax breaks for the developments with immediate effect.
"We will not allow casinos on their premises," he said. (ABC/AFP)
Extremism in any form is bad, especially in business. We should have taken away the tax breaks and allowed casino operation, but then put in a clause effecting only foreign passport holders can enter and play.
brainmaster Friday, 30 January 2015 09:14 PM
Casinos represent the negative side of the tourism. They come along with criminality, drugs, prostitution and money laundering. Fit for some members of the previous Government.....
brainmaster Friday, 30 January 2015 09:24 PM
The good tourists are not the ones who come for casinos.
brainmaster Friday, 30 January 2015 09:32 PM
Why ??! Are you the one who owned a Lamborghini ?
Waco Friday, 30 January 2015 09:41 PM
1. Please get together with your friends and relatives to provide mid-day meal to the disable soldiers. If cooking is a problem, lunch packets could be ordered from a Rest House or from a Hotel.
Punny Pellow Friday, 30 January 2015 09:44 PM
Do not forget that the Sri Lankans have turned the Government 360 deg.
lanka putha Friday, 30 January 2015 11:26 PM
Good one. You have lost your money too. Good bye. If you wont a refund you know where to get it from.
G.M. Jayawardena Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:00 AM
There wont be any tourists here and we have to compensate with the domestic workers in the middle eastern countries.
G.M. Jayawrdena Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:03 AM
MY3 will delete everything MR has planned....
yohan Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:38 AM
Sorry guys sad to hear Packer is not coming to SL.He will entertain rich locals & foreigners not Appus Bandas Menikas in SL.We missed many job & support service opportunities.His leaving will eradicate taverns bars illegal spas massage clinics in SL nonsense. Apply adequate laws to counter any wrong doing in that industry.Pointless shouting emotionally ignoring factual truths beneficial to the country. via DM Android App
Cheers Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:12 AM
Packet will take this elsewhere as lot of countries awaiting for an opportunity unfortunately due to the atutu de of the current govt due to jvp pressure the people are the losers
AS Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:58 AM
I have to say sick and sick. Every time, a new government comes in to power, they do a 180 degree turn and don’t seem to care about tax payers’ money. What is wrong having casino resorts in Sri Lanka, like anything else, they needed to be regulated. People will lose high paying jobs. Ask dump politicians to go and get some lower paying garment factories, so people always can live below poverty level. On the other hand, if any Sri Lankan likes to play casino, they can go online and play it. So what they did was very stupid thing. This resort would have been a great place to earn much needed foreign exchange for the county from tourists. If politician thinks, casinos going to impact our culture then close all the ports, so nobody go in and out of the country. Our culture will be saved forever.
Michael Pereira Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:42 AM
Is the Sri Lankan Culture and way of life so fickle that it needs babysitting by the government ? Does this mean that the Sri Lankan people does not know right from wrong ? the people should be given the right to gamble or not. The people are intelligent and worldly, Let them decide. There is no need for Ranil W to choose what is right and wrong.
Lalith Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:53 AM
poor Packer must have lost the 1st part of the 10%
Hubert SilvaBpulle Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:12 AM
Mr Ran Banda what about prostitution??? Ben
Lucky Da Silva Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:44 AM
Casinos have a negative effect on the ewconomy and only owners make money and the rest are loosers. Casinos are run world wide by the Mafia groups and propstitiution prevail.
boris Friday, 30 January 2015 08:57 PM
Mate obe tereneh. What do you mean ?
Gunam Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:24 AM
Was there any new activities that did not exist in the present tourism industry planned in this project?
dulan Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:47 AM
Action should be taken on Bookies too .More open to the poor
Kasun Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:59 AM
Can you name at least few overseas investors who are doing business in SL?
Bubble Banda Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:17 AM
MR is worried as his mega plan to put up a Mansion in US is collapsed.
Kiris Baba Amaray Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:21 AM
Mr. Packer did you meet your good old friend Mahinda? Go and meet him he is waiting for your mega gift for the initial pre-arrangements on Casino.
Vijith Pieterz Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:22 AM
He lost Billions and Billions on this deal. Sorry for the guy.
Horri Jimonis Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:23 AM
You may say, but MR
patriot Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:25 AM
Sri Lanka lost a golden opportunity to bring one of the richest people in the world.We will lose foreign investment and see what will happen in few yearsCasinos operate around the world with no problems to that country
J Palitha Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:28 AM
How much money you gave to Mahinda?
Kiris Baba Amaray Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:30 AM
More than 100,00 lives saved in SriLanka this is more value than 1500 jobs.
Vijith Pieterz Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:33 AM
Hope Packer would have paid a visit to Carlton, Hambantota with a gift package for sure. ha...ha...ha....
dhin Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:42 AM
Most of our girls will not by HIV affected
patriot Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:51 AM
You can critise anyone but not Bana,
euro Sunday, 01 February 2015 10:03 AM
investor left sri lanka iam the 15th from europeas far as i know via DM Android App
Fassey Friday, 30 January 2015 06:07 PM
Thousands of young girls saved from prostitution
demel Friday, 30 January 2015 04:24 PM
its good.We will not effect for his action. via DM Android App
sri Friday, 30 January 2015 04:31 PM
You are afraid to invest in Sri Lanka. When new Govt. comes to power they take 180 degrees turn !
Ran Banda Friday, 30 January 2015 04:31 PM
Life is not worth living, in Paradise, if there are no casinos, no drugs, no smoking and no alcohol.
Sri Lankan Friday, 30 January 2015 04:36 PM
Well hard to here the news, however its good for Sri Lanka, in long run.
Ran Banda Friday, 30 January 2015 04:44 PM
Sorry, no prostitutes and larger-than-life cut-outs also. Be warnedpeople may commit suicide also, in Paradise..
Liberal One Friday, 30 January 2015 04:47 PM
1500 jobs lost. We will have to look for another way to bring in high spending tourists.
Lankan Friday, 30 January 2015 04:54 PM
Mr. Ran Banda, you can always run to Las Vegas :P!
Waco Friday, 30 January 2015 05:03 PM
2. Take few pineapples to give them after lunch. Spend two or three hours with those soldiers. Find the convenient facility to you all. Will do it once a year. Nothing to do with politicians.
Willie Friday, 30 January 2015 05:34 PM
Better loosing 1500 jobs than the families that will be destroyed and the foreign exchange frauds that will arise
Aruna Friday, 30 January 2015 05:36 PM
Not only 1500 jobs and their kins but huge foreign currency inflows and mass opportunities related are all gone in a daydream.
adamsapple Friday, 30 January 2015 05:46 PM
How can we run tourism without casino and luxury hotels...
BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 30 January 2015 05:48 PM
Poor MR must be crying while listening to bana.
BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 30 January 2015 05:53 PM
It could be even 5000 jobs but is this the way we want to earn money for the country? Our life style, culture, religion are not consistent to high end gambling dens and the type of activity associated with the same. It is good for Kudu Nuwan. Mervyn, Duminda and Mahinda but not in line with majority of the humble public of Sri Lanka.
ama Friday, 30 January 2015 06:00 PM
without Packer we wont die!
Euclid Friday, 30 January 2015 06:01 PM
Sadu! Sadu! Sadu!
patriot Friday, 30 January 2015 04:17 PM
Genting drop the project and brought it to Singapore, look like Mr. Packer can do the same.
pakirasapaki Friday, 30 January 2015 06:15 PM
GROBR - Good residence of bad rubbish
SrilankanCitizen Friday, 30 January 2015 06:22 PM
hiran Gunawardena Friday, 30 January 2015 06:22 PM
Its a bit hard one to disagree with government. But we will see lot of investors pulling plug out from sl. Co my3 government via DM Android App
Anthony Friday, 30 January 2015 06:27 PM
Mr Packer may thing he can do same as he did with Victorian Government . Well done done Sri lanka !Gambling is not part of SL society ! We do not have to have capital from casinos to develop our nation.Anthony
Anthony Friday, 30 January 2015 06:29 PM
Can you name one investor who left the SL in current time please.
Ruwan Friday, 30 January 2015 06:28 PM
Ha ha.....thanks a lot sir... via DM Android App
Kumara Friday, 30 January 2015 06:31 PM
Should have allowed out of Colombo. This will create negative image on foreign investment. Foreign companies will pull out.
Liberal One Friday, 30 January 2015 06:34 PM
You need to go outside Sri Lanka and visit a Crown Casino
Country lovr Friday, 30 January 2015 06:52 PM
Figures released by the Victorian Coroner reveal an addiction to gambling has been linked to 130 suicides over the past 12 years. Do you people want this to happen here in our loving country
rw Friday, 30 January 2015 06:52 PM
no need gambling.its all Sri Lankans wish via DM Android App
milindras Friday, 30 January 2015 07:00 PM
This is a very bad loss to be honest! Poor or Middle class people never play casino. This was target for rich and foreigners. How many could have created?? This people never learn! We need to carry on what ever the good work planned by the previous government as it is.
casino plus Friday, 30 January 2015 07:06 PM
Re-negotiate Crown terms just as Australian states do with Crown,set the rules,standards just as Aust.states (Barangaroo project)If Singapore needs Casinos we baaadly neeed it too.The plus factors are many.
Euclid Friday, 30 January 2015 07:59 PM
What about the big casinos coming up in Slave Island?
hiran gunawardena Friday, 30 January 2015 08:56 PM
Well there are bookies and liquer stores all over srilanka . You have to think whether this has any impact rather than loosing direct investment. Also having special zone for gambling enable to control the industry somewhat. This is completely unfriendly message to investors
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