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Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka confirms new licence fees with ten applications for casinos on the table

By - 15 January 2024

With ten casino applications now received, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance has confirmed the increase in fees for securing and renewing casino licenses.

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya confirmed that existing casinos will need to pay US$1.55m for the first five years and US$4.66m for the next 15 years combined, with a renewal fee of US$31m.

New operators spending US$250m on their projects with license and renewal fees coming in at $31m. If the investment on the new casino project reaches US$500m, operators will need to pay an initial license fee of $15.5m renewal fees of $31m

The Sri Lankan government wants to establish a new regulator to oversee the casino sector.

Sri Lanka has received 10 applications to set up casinos under the new regulations put forward with rumours that Golden Island Hospitality would be issued with a licence along with rumours that a casino had been approved for the Lotus Tower, as well as in Kandy and Jaffna.

Mr. Siyambalapitiya said of the rumours: “I clearly said 10 applications have been received. We have to remember already regulated casinos which operated without paying a license for many years. We are talking about taxes, asking not to impose VAT, but when a tax is charged from tourists, they we are told not to do this,” Siyambalapitiya said.

“Then are you asking to raise taxes on locals? There is a big problem in going forward with the reality. Always with this traditional opposition this country has gone down the tubes (waler pull-lerter gi-yar). It is the same thing today. We have to realize this Honorable Speaker,” Siyambalapitiya added.

Sri Lanka currently has six casinos: Bally’s, Bellagio, Casino Marina, Stardust, Continental Club and The Ritz Club.

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