Sri Lanka approves Crown’s $350 million deal with casino

James Packer

(Reuters) – The government of Sri Lanka has approved a hotel and leisure resort deal with Australian gambling tycoon James Packer’s Crown Ltd, but the investment is likely to increase from the original $350 million, the country’s investment promotion minister told Reuters on Thursday.

The finalisation of the deal was delayed because the Sri Lankan government was asking Lake Leisure Holdings, the joint venture between Crown Ltd and its local partner, Rank Entertainment Holdings Pvt Ltd, to change its construction plan.

Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the government had approved the deal with two towers in the original location given to the joint venture, instead of one.

“Today cabinet approved the tax concessions for the strategic development project of Lake Leisure Holdings. Now it will go to the parliament,” Yapa told Reuters in an interview. “The agreement is for $350 million. They have done some alterations, so it might increase,” Yapa said.