– Yes or No?

The people of Sri Lanka are re­luc­tant about casi­nos open­ing in the coun­try while the govern­ment is en­thu­si­as­tic about the eco­nomic gains this will bring.

Southasia - - GAMBLING SRI LANKA - By Kruthagna Na­dini Per­era

reg­u­la­tions are be­ing for­mu­lated for the said bill. Once it is done, we will know what the next step should be. We have sub­mit­ted the cab­i­net paper for a mixed de­vel­op­ment project and want the work on it to con­tinue. Af­ter four years – the time the con­struc­tion will take – we will talk about casi­nos. Till then, it's just a mixed de­vel­op­ment project,” was the view of the Min­is­ter of In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion, Lak­sh­man Yapa Abey­war­dena. Yet, re­li­gious groups along with the op­po­si­tion have con­tin­ued to in­crease pres­sure on the govern­ment.

Sri Lanka has ap­proved the con­struc­tion of a $400 mil­lion com­plex along with two sim­i­lar projects, but with­out any ex­plicit per­mis­sion to op­er­ate casi­nos there. It is too early to say that whether the groups would be suc­cess­ful in sav­ing the coun­try from the claimed catas­tro­phe fol­low­ing the en­try of casi­nos in the coun­try. The writer is a busi­ness jour­nal­ist based in Sri Lanka. She fo­cuses on is­sues per­tain­ing to trade, health and fash­ion.

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