Sri Lanka: No Casinos

Sri Lanka: No Casinos

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Three firms were planning massive developments on the island, which were to include casino gambling, but the government recently said “no” to the gambling component.

“We will not allow casinos. That we say very clearly,” an official told parliament. “They (the promoters) asked, we did not allow, nor will we allow (in the future).”

Government officials are worried that casinos could lead to prostitution.

One of the firms interested in building in the country is Crown Resorts, which is controlled by billionaire James Packer. It’s unclear if he will pull out as a result of the decision.

According to the report, in addition to Packer, “the other two resorts are a $650 million development from local conglomerate John Keells Holdings and a $300 million project by local businessman Dhammika Perera.” Packet’s project was for $400 million.

The government has given the firms the OK to build, just without the casinos.

Sri Lanka legalized casinos in December 2010, but the legislation has never been implemented, the report said. Supporters of casinos say it would double tourism.

The projects are planned in Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka is located off the tip of India. The island is 65,610 square kilometers and has a population of 20.2 million people. The Colombo metro area has about 5.6 million.

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