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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » James Packers Casino business in Sri Lanka illegal says Harsha

James Packers Casino business in Sri Lanka illegal says Harsha

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
The government of Sri Lanka has approved a hotel and leisure resort deal with Australian gambling tycoon James Packer's Crown Ltd, but the investment is likely to increase from the original $350 million, the country's investment promotion minister told Reuters on Thursday.

The finalisation of the deal was delayed because the Sri Lankan government was asking Lake Leisure Holdings, the joint venture between Crown Ltd and its local partner, Rank Entertainment Holdings Pvt Ltd, to change its construction plan.

Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the government had approved the deal with two towers in the original location given to the joint venture, instead of one.

"Today cabinet approved the tax concessions for the strategic development project of Lake Leisure Holdings. Now it will go to the parliament," Yapa told Reuters in an interview. "The agreement is for $350 million. They have done some alterations, so it might increase," Yapa said.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/35338-sl-approves-crowns-350m-deal-with-casino.html

sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin
Sept 13, 2013 (LBO) - Tax breaks for two casino resorts including one by Australia's Crown group have been firmed with the cabinet of ministers giving the nod for tax breaks previously announced for large investments.

Australia's Crown group and Sri Lanka's Rank Holdings is building a 350 million US dollar 'integrated resort', a euphemism for casino hotels.

John Keells Holdings, a Sri Lanka based group has initiated a larger project involving up to 850 million US dollars which also involves a casino.

Information minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said tax breaks for only for infrastructure involving hotels and other facilities and gaming revenues will be taxed.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva has slammed the current regime for reducing taxes on gaming revenues for about 5.0 percent of the gross take which is probably the lowest rate anywhere for large licensed casinos.

In a bizarre move, gaming revenues have exempted from value added tax which De Silva has contrasted with the high taxes levied on tinned fish, potatoes, onions and dried fish.

High import taxes on basic foods are charged partly to satisfy cravings of economic nationalists, critics say.

Hong Kong, the top gaming centre in Asia, has a rate close to 40 percent of the gross take but no income tax. In countries with corporate income tax for casinos, the rates range from 13 percent (proposed for Taiwan) and above 20 percent (in Singapore).

The John Keells Holding project had not asked for a corporate income tax holiday for casino revenues but instead will take in tax-free rents from the casino which will use the infrastructure. No upper limit has been set for rents.

Some analysts believe that JKH's plan to 'rent' space for a casino is to satisfy investment policies of significant shareholders.

The current administration has said that no new casino licenses will be issued.

In Sri Lanka casino 'licenses' are mostly de facto but also involves paying a fee to revenue authorities and two existing operators have become 'grandfathered' by default.

Sri Lanka is pushing a casino strategy to draw high spending tourists, which can fill city five star hotel rooms and push room rates closer to 400 US dollars from the current 150 dollar levels.

Sources with some knowledge of the strategy say Sri Lanka is likely to limit gaming to only three large casinos, with one of the existing 'licenses' tipped to go to John Keells Holdings.
http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/news/sri-lanka-casino-resort-tax-breaks-firmed/2100669543

http://sharemarket-srilanka.blogspot.co.uk/

LSE

LSE
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
ජෝන් කීල්ස් සමාගම් සමූහය සහ ඕස්ට්‍රේලියානු කැසිනෝ රජෙකු වන ජේම්ස් පැකර්ද කොටස් කරුවෙකු වන ලේක් ලෙෂර් සමාගම විසින් කොළඹ සිදුකිරීමට යන කැසිනෝ පහසුකම් සහිත මිශ්‍ර සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘති සඳහා සහන සැලසීමට කැබිනට් මණ්ඩලයේ අනුමැතිය හිමිවී තිබේ.

මේ අනුව, කොළඹ 02, ග්ලෙනි වීදියේ විනිසුරු අක්බාර් මාවතේ පිහිටි වෝටර් ෆ‍්‍රන්ට් ප්‍රොපර්ටීස් ලිමිටඩ් සමාගම යටතේ ස්ථාපිත කිරීමට යෝජිත ඒකාබද්ධ සංචාරක කර්මාන්තය ආශ‍්‍රිතව ජොන් කීල්ස් හෝල්ඩින්ග්ස් පී.එල්.සී. සමාගම විසින් සිදු කරන ව්‍යාපෘති සඳහා 2008 අංක 14 දරණ ක‍්‍රමෝපාය සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘති (සංශෝධිත පනත ප‍්‍රකාරව) සහන සැලසීමට, අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩලයේ අනුමැතිය ලැබී ඇත.

සුඛෝපභොභෝගී හෝටලයක්, සම්මේලන මධ්‍යස්ථානයක්, විනෝදාස්වාදය මෙන්ම සූදු හා ඔට්ටු ඇල්ලීමේ පහසුකම්, සාප්පු සංකීර්ණයක්, සුඛෝපභෝගී නිවාස සංකීර්ණයක්, කාර්යාලීය ඉඩපහසුකම් ආදීන්ගෙන් සමන්විත මෙම ව්‍යාපෘතිය සඳහා ඇ.ඩො. මි. 650 ක ආයෝජනයක් කිරීමට නියමිතය.

මෙම ව්‍යාපෘතිය යටතේ 3000-4000 ත් අතර පුද්ගලයන්හට ඍජු රැකියා අවස්ථා ලැබෙන අතර තවත් 3000 ට පමණ වක‍්‍ර ආකාරයෙන් රැකියා ලැබෙනු ඇත.

මීට අමතරව, දේශීය ව්‍යාපාරික රවී විජේරත්න හා ජේම්ස් පැකර් විසින් ඒකාබද්ධව පිහිටුවාගෙන තිබෙන ලේක් ලෙෂර් හෝල්ඩින්ග්ස් සමාගමේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය යටතේ ඇ.ඩො. මි. 350 ක ආයෝජනයෙන් යුත් අවම වශයෙන් කාමර 400 ක් රැස්වීම් හා සම්මේලන මධ්‍යස්ථානයක් , සූදු හා ඔට්ටු ඇල්ලීමේ පහසුකම්, අලංකාර යෝජිත ශාලා හා වෙනත් ආශ‍්‍රිත පහසුකම් ඩී.ආර්. විජේවර්ධන මාවතේ ඉදිකිරීමට නියමිතය.

මෙම ව්‍යාපෘතිය 2008 අංක 14 දරණ ක‍්‍රමෝපාය සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘති (සංශෝධිත පනත යටතේ) ව්‍යාපෘතියක් ලෙස හඳුනාගෙන ඒ යටතේ සහන ලබාදීමටත් අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩල අනුමැතිය ලබාදී තිබේ.

http://www.vimasuma.com/new_full_story.php?subcatcode=2&newscode=1903500991

Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
*Only a Casino Regulatory Agency can isssue licences
*Cabinet approval not sufficient
* Challenges Govt. for debate


The Australian Casino King James Packer has no valid licence to operate his gaming business in Sri Lanka, an opposition legislator charged yesterday.

Harsha de Silva MP and economist, said that cabinet approval did not make Packer’s casino legal since he had to obtain approval from a Casino Regulatory Agency established through an Act of Parliament, which the government had failed to do.

Describing the regime’s contention that Packer had got a license transferred from casino owner Ravi Wijeratne as a fabrication, he challenged it to produce the said document.

All casinos that operated in Sri Lanka including the one that Packer was in the process of establishing were illegal, the MP said adding he was prepared to debate any member of the ruling UPFA on the issue.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had assured the Mahanayakes and other religious leaders that no new casino permits would be issued, but how can one give or even transfer something that did not exist, he queried.

De Silva, said that according to the Casino Business Regulation Act of 2010, no casino from Jan. 1, 2913, can operate without a license; function outside an area demarcated for the purpose and doing business without a valid permit would result in a jail term upon conviction.Since no licences can be issued without first establishing a Casino Regulatory Agency, all gaming businesses operating in the country were illegitimate, he stressed.

A casino licence, the MP observed, went into around 100 pages in most countries including in Australia and not anyone could get it due to the very stringent criteria involved.

The government, had taken cover under the Betting and Gaming Levy Act of 1988, which applied an annual levy on casino operations. The levy was amended many times and finally in April this year it was fixed at Rs 100 million, he pointed out noting that "it is clear in the original legislation that whether the gaming centre is ‘legal’ OR ‘illegal’ the levy applied."

An amendment brought to the Act in April 2013 removed the 12 percent VAT and instead applied a 5 percent gaming tax on all casinos. None of these amendments in any way did away with the requirement that a valid licence from an appropriate legal body was required to operate a casino, de Silva said.
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=88079

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