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

 
 
 

47 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

Elizabeth Hurley has crush on Aaron Paul's TV avatar
Los Angeles, Sep 23 (IANS) Actress Elizabeth Hurley says she has a crush on actor Aaron Paul's character Jesse Pinkman from TV series "Breaking Bad".
 
 
Charlie Sheen wants Two and a Half Men return
Charlie Sheen wants Two and a Half Men return
Charlie Sheen has revealed he would love to return to 'Two and a Half Men', however show bosses have denied being in contact with the 49-year-old actor.
 
 
Ariana Grande's life coach 'couldn't handle' her behaviour
Ariana Grande's life coach 'couldn't handle' her behaviour
Ariana Grande's life coach quit because he ''couldn't handle'' her bad attitude.
 
 
Nicolas Cage slept in Dracula's castle
Nicolas Cage slept in Dracula's castle
According to Idris Elba, Nicolas Cage once decided to spend the night in Dracula's home in order to ''channel is energy'' while filming in Transylvania.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

FIFA member predicts 2022 World Cup will not be held in Qatar
Berlin, Sep 23 (IANS/EFE) A member of the executive committee of international soccer's governing body, FIFA, said Monday that he doubted the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, on account of its high temperatures...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
UN agency steps up aid for 130,000 Syrian refugees
United Nations, Sep 23 (IANS) The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has been stepping up assistance to the Turkish government to aid an estimated 130,000 Syrian Kurds who have crossed into Turkey since last Friday, the United...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
French national abducted in Algeria: France
Paris, Sep 23 (IANS) A French national was kidnapped in Algeria's Tizi Ouzou region Sunday, the French foreign ministry said Monday. "A French national was kidnapped on Sunday in Algeria, in the region of Tizi Ouzou,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Charlie Sheen wants Two and a Half Men return
Charlie Sheen wants to reprise his role on 'Two and a Half Men'. The 49-year-old actor - who was fired from the show in 2011 after rowing with its producer Chuck Lorre and subsequently threatened him and Warner Bros...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ariana Grande's life coach 'couldn't handle' her behaviour
Ariana Grande's life coach quit because he ''couldn't handle'' her bad attitude. According to the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column, the 21-year-old singer's former employee - who was in charge of keeping her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nicolas Cage slept in Dracula's castle
Nicolas Cage spent the night in Dracula's castle. According to the 50-year-old actor's 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' co-star, Idris Elba, Nicolas opted to stay in the fictional vampire's home to ''channel his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
David Hasselhoff: Justin Bieber is a 'cool guy'
David Hasselhoff thinks Justin Bieber is a ''cool guy''. The 'Baywatch' star confessed he had ''a lot of fun'' with the 20-year-old singer on the set of his latest video and claims the unlikely duo had ''a blast''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Some American IS recruits are back in US: White House
Washington, Sep 23 (IANS/EFE) The Obama administration believes that some of the roughly 100 Americans who may have travelled to the Middle East to join the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) militant group have returned...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Now Bieber lives healthier lifestyle
Los Angeles, Sep 23 (IANS) Singer Justin Bieber, more popular for his off-stage antics rather than music, is reportedly embracing a healthier lifestyle and has given up alcohol. According The Sun newspaper, Bieber is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ukraine, rebels creates buffer zone amid new casualties
Kiev, Sep 23 (IANS) Ukrainian troops and independence-seeking rebels have started establishing a weapon-free buffer zone to separate the areas they control from each other, the country's military said Monday. "A...
Read more on Politics Balla