Despite initial concern about the proposed casino, Sri Lankan government will not oppose Crown’s plans building a casino.
Although initially reluctant to allow a casino to be integrated into the planned $400 million resort Crown plans to build, now it seems that officials have changed their opinion on the matter.
Opposition was worried that the casino would bring forth a wave of prostitution and deteriorate their culture and religious values. However, gambling has been active in the nation since the 1980s, while recently there has been an increase in mobile casino gambling as well.
Crown first managed to obtain the necessary approvals and licenses back in September of last year, however certain terms were altered which caused the delay.
Local partnership is essential
Spokesperson from the government Keheliya Rambukwella, said that Crown was instructed to commence their casino operations from the area known as D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha. Sri Lankan gambling laws restrict Crown to that area, as they share it with a local partner.
Rambukwella added that it makes no difference who the developer is, as long as they share the appropriate license. “There is no legal barrier for existing casino businesses getting new partners. There are five licenses issued and these license holders can have one casino per license. So there’ll be five casinos.”
State officials also highlighted how Sri Lankan entrepreneurs hold five casino licenses between them. Ravi Wijeratne, Crown’s local partner, has two, while another business magnate, Dhammika Perera, own three.