1 Updates
Sri Lanka postpones bill to allow casino entry
Photo Credit: , Getty Images

Sri Lanka postpones bill to allow casino entry

Oct 22 2013, 8:36am CDT | by IANS

Colombo, Oct 22 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government has decided to postpone parliamentary approval for a controversial $385-million casino deal from Australian gaming mogul James Packer after refusal from coalition parties to support it, an official said here Tuesday.

Colombo, Oct 22 — The Sri Lankan government has decided to postpone parliamentary approval for a controversial $385-million casino deal from Australian gaming mogul James Packer after refusal from...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

48 weeks ago

Sri Lanka postpones bill to allow casino entry

Oct 22 2013, 8:36am CDT | by IANS

Colombo, Oct 22 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government has decided to postpone parliamentary approval for a controversial $385-million casino deal from Australian gaming mogul James Packer after refusal from coalition parties to support it, an official said here Tuesday.

Colombo, Oct 22 — The Sri Lankan government has decided to postpone parliamentary approval for a controversial $385-million casino deal from Australian gaming mogul James Packer after refusal from coalition parties to support it, an official said here Tuesday.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa made the decision after meeting with party leaders Monday night, Xinhua quoted Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene as telling reporters.

A special debate on significant tax concessions given to the venture was to be held in parliament Oct 24-25, but opposition to the investment has been growing for months.

The minister acknowledged that religious political parties such as the Buddhist Jathika Hela Urumaya and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which are part of the ruling coalition, have refused to support the casino deal.

A protest was organised by SLMC against the casino in Colombo ahead of the parliament debate.

"We encourage proposals from party leaders on a way forward. There are many concerns that local people will get into the bad habit of gaming, so the morality of casinos is the main reason for this disapproval," Abeywardene said.

He added that parties could suggest ways to discourage local people from gambling, providing examples of measures in Singapore where locals have to pay $200 extra and obtain spousal approval.

However, he ruled out banning locals from gaming altogether in the majority Buddhist nation.

Another aspect that is being reconsidered is a clarification on taxation for the new venture.

Abeywardene noted that the Sri Lankan government hopes to tax 5 percent of total revenue rather than from gaming profits, pointing out that the former is far more lucrative for the State.

Nonetheless, this is unlikely to reduce disapproval from the main opposition United National Party (UNP), which has criticized a 12-year tax holiday handed out by the government to Packer.

The Australian Financial Review earlier this month estimated that the tax concessions would amount to as much as $1 billion.

The UNP argues this money could be used to reduce cost of living and bring development to a nation ravaged by nearly three decades of civil war, which ended in 2009.

They also argue that casinos are not properly regulated in the country and will create space for massive corruption.

Abeywardene said he is confident that a fresh bill can be tabled in parliament within one month and is upbeat of more investment from Packer.

"He has expressed interest in investing in follow-up projects but the Sri Lankan government is very clear that this will be the only casino he will get," the minister added.

Packer's venture will be the first large-scale casino in Sri Lanka though smaller establishments have existed for years.

IANS

Source: IANS

 

Don't miss ...

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Angelina Jolie buys £2million watch for Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie buys £2million watch for Brad Pitt
'Maleficent' actress Angelina Jolie has bought her husband Brad Pitt a rare £2 million watch - inscribed with the names of their characters from new movie 'By The Sea' - as a wedding gift.
 
 
Phil Collins reveals extent of drink troubles
Phil Collins reveals extent of drink troubles
Award-winning musician Phil Collins has confessed he used to drink wine at 11am and struggle to get out of bed in the morning, and blames his failed marriages and the absence of his five children.
 
 
George Clooney feels 'pretty great' after wedding
George Clooney feels 'pretty great' after wedding
George Clooney has admitted he is ''looking forward to everything'' after tying the knot to Amal Alamuddin, and insists he feels ''pretty damn great''.
 
 
Liam Gallagher struggling to 'secure funds' for child support
Liam Gallagher struggling to 'secure funds' for child support
Liam Gallagher can't come to an agreement on a child support deal with the mother of his love child Liza Ghorbani because his divorce to Nicole Appleton isn't finalised.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Lesotho mediation efforts to continue
Cape Town, Sep 30 (IANS) South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will undertake a third visit to Lesotho Tuesday to mediate the political crisis in the country, it was announced Monday. During the visit,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Algeria's tourism takes a hit after guide's beheading
Algiers, Sep 30 (IANS) Last week's beheading of a French mountain guide in Algeria has hit the tourism sector of the north African country, over a thousand tourists cancelling their bookings. Kidnapped Sep 21 in Tizi...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
New frontier for heart failure treatment
Toronto, Sep 30 (IANS) Opening new avenues for the treatment of heart failure, a research has found how the function of a key cardiac protein changes in the case of heart failure. Since 1976, researchers have known...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Alcohol can disrupt sleep even after quitting
New York, Sep 30 (IANS) Chronic alcohol exposure can lead to disruptions in the sleep cycle, not just when one actively drinks but even years after one stops drinking. Individuals with alcohol use disorder frequently...
Read more on Business Balla
 
NASA app teaches kids about rocket launches
New York, Sep 30 (IANS) The US space agency NASA has launched a new app to make children aware of how rockets are launched. The free app called "LSP Activity Book" lets kids learn about the mission planning process...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Hong Kong chief executive urges protest stoppage
Hong Kong, Sep 30 (IANS) Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung Tuesday urged the people to end the on-going protest over the issue of Hong Kong's constitutional development. Protests have been taking place in various...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Elizabeth Banks joins 'Magic Mike XXL'
Elizabeth Banks has joined the cast of 'Magic Mike XXL'. 'The Hunger Games' star' has signed up to appear alongside newly announced cast mates Jada Pinkett Smith and Andie MacDowell in the stripper comedy sequel, though...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Angelina Jolie buys £2million watch for Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie has given Brad Pitt a rare £2 million watch as a wedding present. The 'Maleficent' actress has splashed out on the expensive gift - a 1952 Patek Philippe platinum chronometer - which has been inscribed...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Phil Collins reveals extent of drink troubles
Phil Collins used to drink wine at 11am and struggled to get out of bed in the morning. The 63-year-old musician - who has a personal fortune estimated to be worth £120 million and has won seven Grammy awards - insists...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
George Clooney feels 'pretty great' after wedding
George Clooney feels ''pretty damn great'' after marrying Amal Alamuddin. The 53-year-old star gushed he is ''looking forward to everything'' in his life after tying the knot to the 36-year-old lawyer in Venice, Italy...
Read more on Celebrity Balla