Sunday, April 20, 2014   

Sri Lanka approves Packer casino in Colombo
(12-19 12:53)

Sri Lanka's government has approved three hotel projects worth US$1.3 billion, including Australian gambling mogul James Packer's controversial casino project, the latest gazette notification announced last night.
It is customary for in Sri Lanka for the governments to announce decisions through gazette documents usually issued at night, Xinhua reports.
The three projects that have been approved are a US$350 million casino project by Packer, a US$300 million gambling facility by local tycoon Dhammika Perera called Queensbury and the largest venture of US$650 million by local blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings that will also include a casino.
These three hotel projects were initially presented as “mixed development" projects that would include the operation of casinos within their premises. However, in an unexplained twist, the government gazette, while approving all three projects, do not mention gambling facilities.
The government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has run into severe criticism for allowing large scale casinos.
Last month protests headed by religious leaders and coalition parties of the government forced the postponement of a crucial bill that was to be presented to parliament to provide tax concessions to the new ventures.
Packer's casino in particular has been severely censured by the Opposition United National Party for being given sweeping tax concessions for 12 years. The Australian Financial Review has estimated that the tax holiday will add up to as much as US$1 billion.
The UNP has also slammed the government for not establishing a competent monitoring system for casinos and alleged that public concerns were being ignored.
Sri Lanka's powerful Cabinet Ministers also approved the projects on Monday, setting the stage for more standoffs.
Other Business breaking news:
Amazon hit by strikes in Germany (04-17 17:07)
Hang Seng, Shanghai rise (04-17 16:58)
Flat open for European markets (04-17 15:48)
Nikkei gives up early gains (04-17 15:43)
China eases with reserve cut for rural banks: report (04-17 15:42)
Hang Seng inches up at mid-day (04-17 12:13)
Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top 7 million (04-17 12:06)
Weibo IPO priced at lower end: report (04-17 11:34)
Nikkei down by break (04-17 11:16)
Exports boost Italy's trade surplus (04-16 18:42)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.