In Sri Lanka and officials could soon reportedly begin formulating new legislation that would allow the country’s under-construction Colombo Port City development to feature at least one large casino resort.
According to a report from G3Newswire, the Colombo Port City Economic Commission is to conduct an official investigation into the viability and scope of any such gambling-friendly property for the coming development, which is being built by China’s state-owned China Communications Construction Company on 665 acres of reclaimed land stretching out into the Indian Ocean. The source detailed that this body intends to additionally examine what licensing protocols and fees could be instituted as well as the extent of any associated royalties, taxes and penalties.
Supposedly the brainchild of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the waterfront Colombo Port City is taking shape just south of Colombo’s existing container port and could one day be home to as many as 80,000 people. The business-friendly area slightly smaller than the city-state of Singapore is being constructed in partnership with China as part of this latter nation’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and is expected to be run under its own set of rules and regulations as a way to help attract foreign investment.
Although technically part of Sri Lanka, control over Colombo Port City was reportedly ceded to China in 2017 in exchange for debt relief with the Colombo Port City Economic Commission now set to have the definitive say when it comes to what businesses will be allowed to set up shop in the area already being dubbed ‘Sri Lanka’s new Dubai’. This control purportedly extends to gambling with the body furthermore having the power to regulate such activities via the establishment of a licensing regime and an associated watchdog.
China has already reportedly pumped approximately $1.4 billion into making Colombo Port City a reality and could eventually see this initial investment reach up to $13 billion as a plethora of high-rise residential and business properties are built to dwarf the surrounding bungalows, modest temples and low-slung towers of present-day Colombo. A casino resort for such an area would purportedly be looking to attract domestic patrons as well as those from the nearby nation of India and could one day even see gamblers turning up from as far afield as Europe and North America.
Sri Lanka is already home to numerous gambling-friendly establishment including the Bally’s Casino Colombo, Casino Marina Colombo and Bellagio Colombo Casino venues although the Colombo Port City Economic Commission would reportedly have sole authority over any analogous Colombo Port City enterprises and be able to ‘regulate gaming activities within the area’ and ‘make regulations for the management of such activities.’