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Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 9:01:35 AM
Australian gambling mogul James Packer. Sri Lanka's top casino operator, Rank Holdings, with investments from Packer's Crown group, is expected to build a 400-room luxury hotel and casino. - AFP photo
Plans are afoot to build a casino in Sri Lanka.
SRI LANKA has leased some prime real estate in the capital to a local casino operator who is expected to develop a US$350mil (RM1.15bil) entertainment complex with Australian gambling mogul James Packer, an official said.
The cabinet gave final approval in June to lease the lake-front land to a company set up by Sri Lanka’s top casino operator, Rank Holdings, for 2.78 billion rupees (RM68mil), the official said.
“The land is given to the Sri Lankan company which is in partnership with the Crown group (of Packer),” the official from the investment promotion ministry told AFP on condition of anonymity. The developer, with investments from Packer’s Crown group, is expected to build a 400-room luxury hotel.
The government earmarked the area as an exclusive gaming zone in line with a 2010 Act which legalised gambling.
The official said the company had already paid 20% of the money and had another three months to settle the balance. It was not immediately clear when the project would take off.
Documents seen by AFP showed that Rank was given the land on a 50-year lease along with a 12-year tax holiday. It would invest US$350mil (RM1.15bil) in what is officially described as a “mixed development project”.
The partnership between Rank and Crown has not been formally announced, but investment promotion officials have linked the two companies.
Packer was reported to have visited Sri Lanka earlier this year to hold talks with local authorities on launching a casino with Rank Holdings, which already operates a plush gaming parlour in Colombo. – AFP Relaxnews
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