Crown Resorts Scraps $400 Million Planned Casino Resort In Sri Lanka
Asia is seen by many casino moguls as the region with the most potential to grow in terms of gaming revenues. Macau being the prototype of other counties like Japan who are looking into legislation that would pave the way for legal casinos.
The massive potential in Asia has got the likes of Sheldon Adelson and Australian casino mogul James Packer fighting over territory as they both look to get the coveted casino license. Sheldon Adelson was famously quoted as saying that he would pay whatever it takes to receive a license in Japan which is seen as potentially one of the largest gambling markets son the world.
James Packer’s Crown Resorts Ltd. were looking to invest in Sri Lanka but have announced their scrapping of their proposed $400 million luxury hotel and resort planned after the government withdrew their expected approval for the casinos.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s was under pressure from Buddhist leaders and political parties. Packer was granted permission in 2013 for the casino project but building had not started. With the Prime Minster amending tax concessions and cancelling casino approval, Packer’s Crown Resorts had to accede defeat as they said in a statement,” We respect the Sri Lankan government’s decision and on that basis our project will not be going ahead.”
Other gaming interests like Sri Lanka’s Vallibel One Plc also had their casino approval revoked which means their $300 million Queensbury Resort has been halted. The decision to cancel the casino licenses was expected as it was one of the election pledges by the newly appointed President Maithripala Sirisena who came into power after the Jan. 08 elections.