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* Packer's casino project in Sri Lanka unlikely to get approved this year
Tue, Dec 3, 2013, 09:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that the proposed resort complex and gaming center project in Colombo by Australian gaming tycoon James Packer was unlikely to be approved before the end of the year.

Abeywardena told media that although the government in October planned to grant approval to Packer's business deal before the end of the year it is unlikely to happen since he has not yet prepared the relevant cabinet paper.

He explained that everyone was busy with the ongoing debate on the 2014 Budget in parliament.

According to Abeywardena, the project is a long term one that is to commence around 2015 or 2016 and there was no hurry as a result.

The Australian billionaire has agreed to invest US$350 million to build a 36-story skyscraper which will be known as 'Crown Colombo' to set up an integrated resort which includes a 400-room hotel with gaming facilities in a land on D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo.

The project is being delayed due to growing protests by opposition political parties and organizations against setting up of gaming centers.

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