Sri Lanka Increases License Issuing and Renewal Fees, Ten Operators Apply for the License

Home » Sri Lanka Increases License Issuing and Renewal Fees, Ten Operators Apply for the License

Sri Lanka is increasing the costs of issuing and renewing the casino licenses for all operators currently present in the country, according to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance. So far, the government received ten casino applications.

Increased license issuing and renewal fees:

Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, the Minister of Finance, confirmed the claims about increased fees and said that all casinos that are already present in the state can pay a fee of US$1.55 million for the first five years of operating, and an additional US$4.66 million for the following 15 years in total. The renewal fee will be US$31 million

When it comes to the operators who aren’t present in the country yet, the fees for issuing a license and its renewal will cost US$31 million. On top of that, the cost of investment also matters when it comes to setting the fee. The operators who invested more than US$500 million in new casino projects will be obligated to pay $15.5 million for issuing a license, and US$31 million for license renewal.

The country’s government also works on establishing a regulatory body to oversee and regulate the whole casino industry in Sri Lanka. The draft legislation for the proposed regulatory body was submitted in June 2023. The body’s main duty will be to supervise the casino industry on the island and ensure all taxes are paid properly.

Plans for new casinos:

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Currently, six casinos operate in the country: Bally’s, Bellagio, Casino Marina, Stardust, Continental Club, and The Ritz Club.

Additionally, there are rumors going around that new casinos will be built in Kandy and Jaffna, along with big chances that Golden Island Hospitality will get an operating license. So far, the government received ten applications for new casinos, and, if approved, all of them will be obligated to comply with the new regulations.

According to the source, the Minister Siyambalapitiya commented on the recent course of events and confirmed the rumors: “I clearly said 10 applications have been received. We have to remember already regulated casinos that operated without paying a license for many years. We are talking about taxes, asking not to impose VAT, but when a tax is charged from tourists, they are told not to do this. Then are you asking to raise taxes on locals? There is a big problem in going forward with reality. Always with this traditional opposition, this country has gone down the tubes (waler pull-lerter gi-yar). It is the same thing today. We have to realize this Honorable Speaker.”

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