Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers have now approved two investments worth around $US1bn in foreign-funded casinos in the capital Colombo, including one involving Australian operator Crown, owned by James Packer.
The US$350m project by Mr. Packer to build a mixed-resort in the capital Colombo, including a casino, hotel with a minimum of 400 rooms, convention facilities, restaurants and other associated facilities has been given the green light.
Known as Crown Colombo, the project will be completed and open for business in 2016, generating direct employment for 2,600 local employees.
The cabinet also approved a project for a multi-faceted resort at a cost of US$650m by John Keells Holdings (JKH) including convention Centre, entertainment facilities, international standard shopping mall, luxury condominiums and office space. John Keells will invest US$650m on a property already owned by the company
Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the projects were granted a partial 10-year tax holiday, however ‘the gaming part of the operation is not covered by the tax holiday.’
The Sri Lanka government wants high-end casinos to boost tourist arrivals to 2.5m by 2016.