Oct 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has appointed a committee to study the government's move to set up casinos and its impact on the country.
The committee comprises UNP parliamentarians Karu Jayasuriya, Joseph Michael Perera, Kabir Hashim, D.M. Swaminathan and Ajith P. Perera.
Perera has said that the latest controversy over the setting up of casinos has brought to light the fact that even small scale casinos operating in the country do not have licenses.
He has added that the government had not issued licenses for bookie business as well.
"The law enforcement agencies take steps against small scale gambling dens in villagers and those engaged in gambling in funeral and during the New Year, but has failed to take action against the large scale casinos and bookies," Perera has said.
He has pointed out that these businesses cannot be considered legal since they are not taxed.
Gambling centers are in existence in Sri Lanka for decades under the Gambling Act of 1988.
According to Perera, society should stand against the setting up of new casinos and the already established casinos and bookies.
The government has earlier assured that it will not issue any new licenses to open gambling centers but will regulate the ones that had been operating in the country.