ECONOMYNEXT – A special economic zone to be set up in the Colombo Port City reclaimed from the sea will have regulation covering gaming according to a draft law to be presented to parliament shortly.
A Colombo Port City Economic Commission, with a board appointed by the President of Sri Lanka and a Director General will administer the area.
The Special Zone is expected to bring a variety of investments including offshore banking to boost economic activity and also bring investments.
The Economic Commission has to license all businesses within the Port City and approve permits for to “operate businesses, shopping, entertainment including gaming activities and such other facilities, to obtain
possession of commercial residential facilities, in and from the Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City” .
The commission will also “regulate gaming activities within the Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City and where required to make regulations for the management of such activities.
The commission will also identifying “the attributes of gaming locations within the Area of Authority of the
Colombo Port City, and specifying the manner in which gaming activities are to be carried on or be operated, and the procedure for obtaining a licence and the licence fees , royalties to be paid and any other related matter, as may be necessary.”
The Economic Commission will have authority to grant exemptions or incentives under The Betting and Gaming Levy Act No 40 of 1988 and Casino Business (Regulation) Act Nov 17 of 2010.
Any regulations issued by the Commission will have to be ratified in parliament.
There are several casinos operating in Colombo under de facto authority. However monks and other activists opposed the setting up two new casinos linked to foreign operators a few years ago. (Colombo/Mar28/2021)