Sri Lanka Gets 10 Applications for Casinos

By | January 15, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Sri Lanka has received 10 applications to set up casinos under new regulations issued, and they are in various stages of evaluation, State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

Opposition legislator Athureliye Rathana, a monk, questioned whether two companies, including one called Golden Island Hospitality (Pvt) Ltd had been issued licenses.

He questioned whether a casino had been approved for the Lotus Tower, and whether casinos will be set up in Kandy and Jaffna.

Opposition legislator Lakshman Kiriella requested that casinos not be set up in Kandy, the Sri Pada and Anuradhapura which had a religious significance.

Minister Siyambalapitiya said the applications were in various stages of evaluation and no licenses have been issued so far.

Under regulations gazette last year, there were four casinos which were charged 500 million rupees as an renewable fee for five years.

They also had to pay 15 percent on revenues and collect a 50 dollar fee from Sri Lankan casino players.

The government planned to increase the fee to 200 dollars over three years to discourage locals playing casinos, he said.

Rathana thero questioned why casinos were being set up when people did not have money to eat.

Siyambalapitiya said there was criticism when valued added tax were raised but when alternative sources of revenue was found by taxing foreigners, traditional criticisms were being made that had kept the country back.

“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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *