Fri, Dec 20, 4:15pm by Dominic Ciconte
The government’s decision comes after months of protests from local lobbyist, religious and anti-gambling groups.
The Crown resort-casino complex is planned for a two-acre plot in the heart of the Colombo commercial hub.
It has already been delayed once after the government asked the Crown consortium to change its construction plans.
Official word on when the Colombo Crown Casino is set to begin construction is yet to be confirmed, but Packer stated in a seminar last month that he’d like to get started as soon as possible and “turn Sri Lanka into a leading tourist hotspot for the rising middle classes of India, China and the rest of Asia.”
In addition to Packer’s $400 million complex, the Sri Lankan Government also approved a $350 million resort near Packer’s planned complex and has committed another lisense to an $850 million water front mixed-development project.
Packer, one of Australia’s richest men, has been in talks since February with the Sri Lankan Government about the integrated resort and investment options as he expands his global gambling empire that now includes casinos in Australia, Macau, Britain and the United States.
When it comes to James Packer and his Sri Lankan casino endeavour, an old saying comes to mind – money talks.
The hundreds of millions of dollars that Crown is now set to invest in Colombo, the incoming tourist dollars and the thousands of jobs that will be created were impossible to ignore.
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