The Cabinet of Ministers of Sri Lanka officially validated a proposal to draft legislation to create the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), whose main task will be to supervise the industry and make sure that tax revenues are properly accumulated.
Proposal for a draft legislation:
“The Cabinet approved the proposal previously tabled by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday, with a bill now set to be drafted around the regulation of all gaming activities,” local media reported. Additionally, reports claim that the government is not only doing everything it can to make sure that taxes are fully accumulated, but also that there are rules in place to prevent illegal activities and reduce the harm of gambling.
While it’s not yet clear what details will be involved in any such draft legislation, it was previously unveiled that the regulator would grant licenses for up to 20 years, while casinos would be subject to a 40% profit tax on top of their yearly Rs 500 million, which is approximately US$1.3 million, license fee.
The government’s plans regarding the expansion of the casino industry are not yet clear:
However, it is still unclear whether the government intends to extend its casino industry through the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), even though last November it disclosed plans to open a new casino and entertainment venue at the Colombo Lotus Tower.
Commenting on the opening of the casino, Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Tourism, Diana Gamage, at a press conference on November 18, 2022, said: “Lotus Tower Management Company (LTMC) will receive US$1.4 million a year after signing an agreement with Singapore’s Kreate Design Pte Limited to operate a casino and entertainment area at the Colombo Lotus Tower. Kreate Design would lease out one floor of Colombo Lotus Tower covering 44,000 square meters and that the floor would be used to create an entertainment area comprising a casino and a water park, among other attractions. The initial agreement is for 10 years.”
Also, Kreate Design’s Business Development Director Cyntia Chan said: “This investment agreement includes development of water sports and an entertainment zone, one of the best to be developed at world class standard at the Lotus Tower in Colombo.” In addition, Gamage added: “This will enable Colombo Lotus Tower as a hub to develop trade, investment and tourism activities between Singapore and Sri Lanka.”
Moreover, Sri Lanka currently has five legal casinos, three of which are owned by Dhammika Perera and two by Ravi Wijeratne.