Sri Lanka to Implement Increased Casino License Fees

The Ministry of Finance has announced a considerable rise in licensing costs for both current operators and possible new entrants, causing significant changes in Sri Lanka’s casino business. The government is making this step as part of its attempts to modernize the casino industry and increase income.

Current casinos may now anticipate paying a cost of $1.55 million for the first five years of operation, according to Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, who confirmed the revised fee structure. After then, there will be further payments of $4.66 million for the next 15 years, along with a substantial $31 million renewal cost.

Fee Variations Based on Investment

The cost of granting and renewing a license for operators looking to enter the Sri Lankan market is $31 million. Interestingly, the charge would take operators’ investment into account as well. A $15.5 million license issuance charge and a $31 million renewal fee would be imposed on investors that spend more than $500 million in new casino developments.

The Sri Lankan government is aggressively pursuing the establishment of a regulatory organization tasked with supervising the whole casino industry as part of wider industry reforms. In June 2023, the proposed law for this regulatory body was filed. Once it is up and running, this organization will oversee the sector, making sure that regulations and taxes are followed correctly.

There are now six casinos in Sri Lanka, including well-known ones like Stardust, Bellagio, and Bally’s. Amidst the adjustments, there have been whispers of possible new casinos in Jaffna and Kandy, for which Golden Island Hospitality is currently applying for a license to operate. Ten proposals for new casinos have been submitted to the government; all are anticipated to comply with the upcoming rules.

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Minister Siyambalapitiya responded to recent events by underlining the necessity of a practical strategy to solve issues and the significance of equitable taxes and regulation in advancing the sector.

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