When Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister decided that he was going to withdraw previously approved bills that made way for three mega casinos in his country, the official affected far more than the residents within his own boarders. As concerns over various immoral and illegal activities that take place within casino walls rose in Sri Lanka, the government leader claims to have been forced to take drastic action. By overturning a previous green-light for casino companies to build resorts and facilities in his nation, he pulled the rug out from under three separate colossal contracts.
One of the companies previously contracted to build in Sri Lanka was the Australian gaming giant, Crown Resorts. Crown Resorts produces some of the most heavily visited casino resorts and hotels, and is valued at over $6 billion (AUS). Its plans to build in Sri Lanka would have expanded their international brand to a region where gambling is a highly sought after pastime and their resort would have likely done very well. The contracted $400 million resort plan, however, had to be dropped with the new legislation.
While officials are working to negotiate with Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tax concessions and legal maneuvers, it does not appear that the leader is willing to change his stance. Arguments over the potential tourism that these casinos would have brought to his country are being made by all three of the groups aiming to build in the territory. However opposition from Buddhist groups based on moral values rather than financial resources appear to be heavily swaying the country’s government toward maintaining the ban.
With such a large decision and the unexpected turn of events the executives at Crown Resorts are in the midst of deciding what their next move will be in expanding their brand and business.