Sri Lanka: Cabinet approves proposal to set up gaming regulatory body

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Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal to draft a bill to form a gambling regulatory authority. According to reports, creating a regulating agency for the sector was necessary to ensure correct taxation of gaming companies, stop unlawful gambling-related activity, and lessen the harm associated with gambling.

Last year, the cabinet gave its approval for the issuance of casino licences to the nation’s current gambling operators. Although the law governing casinos was approved in 2010, mandating that gaming enterprises receive licences but had not been issued. Currently, there are four casinos operating in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

According to Sri Lankan Mirror, the proposal to create a bill establishing the Gambling Regularisation Authority was accepted by the Cabinet of Ministers after being submitted by the President in his position as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policies.

Plans to set up a regulatory body for gaming in Sri Lanka and issue new licences started last year after Dhammika Perera, who holds three of the country’s four casino licences, became the country’s finance minister.

Given the absence of regulatory control, it is estimated that $7.4 million in casino taxes are currently owed. The new regulation will include licences of up to 20 years, with a five-year renewable licence costing $1.36 million.

The licences will not be provided to the operators that have prostitution or any form of drunken and disorderly behaviour in their premises. Furthermore, any plans for new stakeholder in the market is also not on the table.