Australian Media Gives A Different Twist To Packer's Casino Plans In Colombo

While the government of Sri Lanka has come under severe criticism from various parties for setting up casinos under the guise of the Strategic Development Act, Australian newspapers and news agencies over the weekend reported that the Sri Lankan government has "shot down" James Packer's bid for Casino's in Colombo. 

"James Packer's plan to enter the Sri Lankan resort market appears to have hit a stumbling block with reports that the Sri Lankan government has refused to allow casinos at three super-luxury resorts planned in the capital because opponents said they would lead to prostitution," Australia's The Age reported on Sunday.

AFP and a section of Australian media said there was no immediate reaction from developers, including James Packer, to the casino ban.

However, Packer's proposed 450-room Crown Sri Lanka resort, on its website, promises to offer "world-class gaming facilities",which includes Casinos. Australian gambling mogul James Packer runs casinos  in Melbourne, Perth, Macau and London.

A large section of international media claim that the government of Sri Lanka has shot down Packer;s Casino plans based on Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa's remarks in Parliament. 

"We will not allow casinos. That we say very clearly," Rajapakse told parliament. "They (the promoters) asked, we did not allow, nor will we allow (in the future)."

However, the Opposition political parties categorically claim that Sri Lanka has not refused Packer's Casino plan in Colombo as the passed Strategic Development Act provides ample space for setting up of Casinos in Colombo.

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