Sri Lanka‘s president Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued a new set of rules to regularize gaming in the country under the 2010 law. According to two gazette notices, reported by local Sri Lankan media, the country will now issue licenses for up to 20 years. Additionally, a five-year renewable license would cost 500 million Lankan rupees.
Currently, the island country is officially bankrupt and was facing serious shortages of food, commodities and fuel till a few months back. The decision to issue casino licenses comes amidst the crisis. Operators can also apply for longer durations in multiples of five years for a maximum of 20 years with fees paid upfront. The licenses must ensure that ‘soliciting for the purpose of prostitution’ does not take place within the premises.
Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings (JKH) is also underway to finalize a deal with a casino operator for its popular Cinnamon Life integrated resort. Reportedly, JKH chairman Krishan Balendra confirmed the happening of the deal after the government issued rules to regularize gaming.
Balendra was quoted, “As the Government has gazetted the legal framework and regulations for gaming, we will finalize arrangements with a license holder and operator to rent the designated casino area at Cinnamon Life. Then we will begin fitting out and equipping the space.”
As per an independent research firm, CAL Research, an integrated resort that houses a 5-star hotel generally earns 50% more room rents as compared to a stand-alone resort. JKH’s Cinnamon Life is all set to open in the first half of 2023 and the casino will commence operations in 2024.
JKH expects to earn rent and a share of the profits from the casino, in addition to higher occupancy at its 800-room hotel and more visitors for the mall. Bhalendra added, “Cinnamon Life will transform Colombo as a leisure and entertainment destination for the region, and lead to substantial foreign exchange earnings for the country.” In the midst of the financial crises, Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has managed to earn close to $900 million during the first eight months of 2022.
Photo credit: Worldcasinodirectory
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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