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

 
 
 

43 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

Carson Daly is a dad again
Carson Daly is a dad again
Carson Daly's fiancee Siri Pinter has given birth to their third child, a daughter named London Rose.
 
 
Robin Williams loved ones still in shock
Robin Williams loved ones still in shock
Robin Williams' friends and family are still ''in complete shock'' over his suicide 10 days ago.
 
 
Julianne Hough confirmed as DWTS judge
Julianne Hough confirmed as DWTS judge
Julianne Hough has confirmed she will be a judge on the new series of 'Dancing with the Stars' and has vowed not to be a ''mean'' critic.
 
 
Justin Bieber rents party house
Justin Bieber rents party house
Justin Bieber will only use his new $29,000-a-month rental property to have parties in and plans to continue living in Beverly Hills.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Pierce Brosnan turned down Batman role
Pierce Brosnan turned down the role of Batman because he ''couldn't really take it seriously''. Brosnan, 61, admitted he was offered the part in Tim Burton's 1989 movie, but decided to pass up on the opportunity. Asked...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Luc Besson downplays speculation of Lucy sequel
'Lucy' director Luc Besson doesn't intend to make a sequel to the action film. Besson - who has also directed 'Leon: The Professional' and 'The Fifth Element' - has been busy promoting the film, which sees Scarlett...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Carson Daly is a dad again
Carson Daly has become a father for the third time. The 'Voice USA' host's fiancée Siri Pinter gave birth to a baby girl yesterday (08.20.14) and the couple have named their new daughter - a sister for Jackson, five,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Robin Williams loved ones still in shock
Robin Williams' friends and family are still ''in complete shock'' over his death. The 'Hook' actor was found hanged at his home on August 11 and his loved ones are still struggling to comprehend the fact he took his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Julianne Hough confirmed as DWTS judge
Julianne Hough has been confirmed as the fourth judge on 'Dancing with the Stars'. The 26-year-old professional - who has won the show twice - will join Carrie Anne Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli when the show...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Justin Bieber rents party house
Justin Bieber is renting a house just for parties. The 'Believe' hitmaker plans to continue living in his Beverly Hills condominium - which has been visited by police numerous times following complaints off local...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dead
Dublin, Aug 21 (IANS) Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds, who played an important part in the Northern Ireland peace process, died Thursday after a long illness. He was 81 and leaves behind his wife Kathleen...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Islamic State biggest threat to our profession: Scribe panel
Cairo, Aug 21 (IANS/EFE) Following the beheading of US reporter James Foley, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has warned that the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation operating in Syria and Iraq is...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Pakistan SC adjourns PTI's case hearing till Friday
Islamabad, Aug 21 (IANS) Pakistan's Supreme Court Thursday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to file a concise statement by Friday in relation to the petition filed against the party over its ongoing protests...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Army, militants fighting for control over Syrian airport
Cairo, Aug 21 (IANS/EFE) Fierce clashes broke out Thursday between the Syrian army and militants of the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist group on the outskirts of al-Tabaqa military air base, the only bastion still...
Read more on Politics Balla