Talk about nipping the idea in the bud.
For a nation seeking investments to bolster its economy, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has immediately thumbed down proposals to revive the Casino industry, The Colombo Page reported.
Wickremesinghe made the statement after one businessman attending the International Enterprise Singapore Global Conversations dialogue posed the question on the previous regime’s drive to begin the casino industry in Sri Lanka.
The businessman contends that economic growth is attainable if the government provides businessmen – including casino operators – with investment opportunities, and if it adapts the same industry implementation.
The premier, in response to the question, explained that it is not the policy of the good governance government to obtain the support of casinos for the development process of the country.
“I responded that no investor would be provided space to begin the Casino Industry within Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister asserted, in response to a question at a business forum organized by Singapore’s International Enterprise.
In 2013, James Packer’s casino operation, Crown, has publicly confirmed for the first time that it is in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankan government and potential joint venture partners regarding the development of a casino resort in the island nation’s capital, Colombo.
Aside from Crown, Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands has reportedly tried exploring investment options in Sri Lanka after being rebuffed by India. On the other hand, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment have also been in talks with Indian group Delta Corp, which owns a casino in Colombo and several more in India.
But in December 2014, Reuters news agency reported that the country’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena had pledged in his manifesto to cancel a casino licence said to have been promised to Crown Resorts by the previous administration.
In January 2015 it was reported that the newly-installed government had decided to block three major casino projects in the South Asian island-nation that had been given the go-ahead by the previous government.