The chairman of the Committee on Public Finance said the country was unique in not having a dedicated body to issue casino licences.
Sri Lanka.- Sri Lanka’s Committee on Public Finance has suggested that the country was create a dedicated casino regulatory authority. Harsha da Silva, the chairman of the committee, said no other countries grant casino licences without a casino regulatory body.
In July, the government of Sri Lanka announced that it would issue casino licences to existing operators obtain new income and boost the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved amendments to a 1988 betting law to raise the annual tax on gambling companies from LKR200m to LKR500m (US$1.4m).
The move is aimed at ensuring casino operators pay taxes. According to authorities, some $7.4m in taxes are owed. The committee warned that there is no clear understanding of whether casinos are paying the appropriate taxes or how much tax has been collected by the government, and there is no regulation regarding existing casinos beyond the four registered licensees. It said it will now conduct a comparative study.
Businesses can apply for a licence in multiples of five years, with fees paid in advance. five-year renewable licences cost $1.36m. A condition of the licence is that no soliciting for the purpose of prostitution takes place on the premises, and no drunkenness or disorderly conduct.