Oct 18, Colombo: Australian gambling mogul James Packer's Crown Ltd. confirmed the plans to develop a US$ 400 million five-star mixed-resort in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo.
Crown Ltd. in a regulatory statement said Friday that the Melbourne, Australia-based company was in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankan government and potential joint venture partners regarding "Crown Sri Lanka".
The proposed development on Beira Lake in Colombo would include a casino, hotel with a minimum of 450 rooms, convention facilities, restaurants and other associated facilities. The 36-story structure will be completed and opened for business in 2016.
According to Packer the planned resort aims to "redefine luxury tourism" in the country.
The large scale casino project, which is identified as a mixed development project, has been categorized under the Strategic Development Projects Act.
The project has been granted a 10-year exemption from income tax in addition to a further concessionary 6 percent tax rate for 12 years among other tax concessions.
Sri Lanka's Cabinet of Ministers gave its nod to the project last month. The parliament and Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, Board of Investment are currently considering whether to grant investment approval for Crown's project.
According to the company the project is also subject to a final agreement between the potential venture parties and the receipt of other approvals.
The project is expected to generate direct employment for 2600 local employees and will also create indirect employment opportunities.