Packer’s Sri Lankan Resort to Suffer Further Delays
After opposition from Buddhist religious leaders and some political parties in Sri Lanka, the government has announced that it will change tax concessions it had granted to Australian gambling tycoon James Packer’s Crown Ltd for a $400 million casino-hotel resort.The changes are likely to delay Packer’s mixed-development investment project for the second time this year. The Investment Promotion minister, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, said that the decision to change the tax concessions came after opposition politicians pointed out that Packer was getting concessions not available to local entrepreneurs and Buddhist leaders said the casino would be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s culture.
At the same time the Crown group has appointed as ambassadors for the casino Australian cricket captain Micheal Clarke and Vivien Grieg, whose husband Tony is a household name in the island.
Packer’s business has a long association with cricket; his father is credited with changing the face of cricket by starting a World Series in 1977, defying the cricketing establishment and signing up players in secret.
The Crown group is building the resort by the side of Colombo’s Beira Lake; it is set to include a luxury hotel, dining, entertainment and casino facilities.