Statements by Sri Lanka’s PM suggest there’ll be no further expansion of the casino industry.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he door on international casino investment in Sri Lanka is apparently closed, if a recent statement from the country’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is anything to go by.
The premier had been attending a business forum event organised by Singapore-based firm International Enterprise. According to local newspaper The Colombo Page, one business delegate queried whether the current administration – elected in January 2015 – had any plans of reviving the previous government’s interest in expanding Sri Lanka’s gaming industry. But Wickremesinghe’s response was equivocal: “No investor would be provided space to begin the casino industry within Sri Lanka,” he said.
No investor would be provided space to begin the casino industry within Sri Lanka.
Four casinos currently operate in Sri Lanka. In its first year in parliament, the current government passed new legislation which saw the country end its policy of charging a E95 player-entry fee at all casinos, whilst simultaneously doubling the annual cost of casino licensure to E2.64m.
In recent years, heavyweight operators Crown Resorts and Sands Corp have both expressed an interest in exploring landed investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. But the current government has seemingly refused to consider any further expansion of casinos in the country: going so far last year as to cancel three prospective casino licences which had been promised by the preceding administration.