James Packer bares plan for $400-million Sri Lanka casino

crown-complex-sri-lanka-casinoJames Packer has made no bones about his plans to build a luxury resort and casino in Sri Lanka.

Yesterday, those plans were finally bared in detail.

More specifically, Packer revealed that his company, Crown Ltd., is already in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankan government and potential partners who would want a piece of what the casino mogul describes as a “must-see”, $400-million resort and casino that will be developed on the banks of Beira Lake in the country’s capital of Colombo.

The unique choice of Sri Lanka as the site of Packer’s new Crown casino didn’t dissuade the businessman from going forward with his grandiose plans for the South Asian country. “Sri Lanka is a beautiful and unique country with huge tourism potential,” Packer said in a statement.

“I have great confidence in the country’s future and believe, as a destination, that it is Sri Lanka’s time to shine in Asia.”

The plan for the predictably-named ‘Crown Sri Lanka‘ luxury resort and casino is pretty straight-forward, or at least that’s the case in Packer’s mind: turn Sri Lanka into a world-class tourist destination and attract international tourists to the country, especially those from China and India.

The project itself is still contingent on final agreements between Crown and potential joint-venture parties and receipt of approvals. But those are expected to be ironed out in the coming months, clearing the way for the casino operator to finally break ground on the proposed luxury casino resort sooner than later.

As far as details about the resort itself are concerned, Packer isn’t playing around with just a token casino. He wants this one to emphasize the grandeur of Crown as one of the region’s best casino companies. No stones will be left unturned with the development of this baby, which will initially come with 450 hotel rooms to go with a multitude of restaurants, and entertainment options, as well as event and conference facilities, a water theme park, and of course, numerous gaming areas.

An estimated 2,500 employees are expected to be hired by the casino resort when it’s up and fully operational.

In the past four years, tourism in Sri Lanka has exploded because of concerted efforts by the government to push and promote its world famous beaches and wildlife. A sparkling, new casino would do nothing but add more appeal to the burgeoning tourism industry, which is expected to increase its tourism arrivals to around 2.5 million by 2016 from its current 1-million-a-year figure.