The future of the projects that the owners of casinos who invest in Sri Lanka are currently working on is a major source of anxiety for them. It appears that a victory for Maithripala Sirisena in the presidential elections could put Crown Resorts and John Keells Holdings company in jeopardy. During the course of his presidential campaign, the newly elected President of the country made clear his intention to put a halt to the development of complicated games in Sri Lanka. Investors are anxious that the newly elected government will revoke the licenses they received while the country was under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who served as president previously.
Even though incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena made a commitment during his campaign to put an end to the ongoing building of casinos in Sri Lanka, there has been no official pronouncement to that effect as of yet. However, casino owners who invest in the country are aware that a step in this general direction will be taken at some point in the future. One of the most likely measures, and one that is feared by experts working in the gaming industry, is the cancellation or removal of licenses that were issued by the previous government. The James Packer games at the casino complex and the John Keells Holdings group are both ventures that are part of the online pattern that the present administration is working on.
400 million dollars’ worth of investment came from Rank Entertainment, in conjunction with a local company and the Crown Resorts organization, which is led by James Packer. In order to complete the project, a complex is going to be built on Lake Colombo. Additionally, a tax exemption mechanism that was put in place by the previous government can be utilized with this investment. This cheaper tax proposal delivers relief that is worth one billion dollars over the course of the next decade. During this time, the John Keells Holdings company invested $ 850 million in its “Water Front” project.
A group that does not hold a unanimous opinion
Those working in the gambling sector are required to deal with Buddhist leaders who are reluctant to criticize or oppose their projects on a regular basis. These consider that the complicated set has an effect on the principles and the foundation of religion as well as the culture. Despite the significant opposition, casino gambling was legalized in Sri Lanka in 1980, and since then, the country has seen the development of a large number of gaming facilities. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also responsible for the introduction of a bill in 2010 that authorized the establishment of dedicated zones for gaming with the intention of fostering tourism development and promotion.
In light of the promises made during the election by those who currently hold power, President Maithripala Sirisena does not aim to adopt the same extent as its predecessor did. It has showed its solid intention to prohibit projects by James Packer and John Keells Holdings group in order to meet the expectations and requests of a big number of Buddhist groups. This was done in order to address the needs of these groups. When both projects were given the green light in 2013, they immediately caught the attention of prominent Buddhists. The gaming industry will soon have more information regarding a significant shift that will have an immediate and detrimental effect on the growth of the casino business.