Will India or Sri Lanka be the Next Casino Hotspot in Asia?

While India has many strict gambling laws, gambling in Goa and Sikkim is legal to a point. There is one casino in Sikkim, and 12 in Goa. Seven of the casinos in Goa are land based casinos, and the rest are found on the Mandovi River, the floating casinos.

There are some large gambling concerns that wish to bring their casinos to India, such as Las Vegas Sands, and also Caesars Entertainment, and MGM Resorts International. However, the CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands, Mr. Sheldon Adelson, has attempted to open a resort in India, but has met with apathy. In 2008, Las Vegas Sands had contacted Delhi’s Ministry of Tourism, and never received an answer. It does seem, however, that Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International have been in contact with Delta Corp., the operator and also the owner of some of the casinos that are found in Goa. These casino operators and Delta Corp. have had preliminary partnership talks.

While these big casino operators from Las Vegas are struggling to get into the gambling market in India, some have begun to look at Sri Lanka as a possible option to create a gambling hotspot in Asia. Sri Lanka is only about a four hour flight from most of the main Indian cities, which could make it a good location that can be traveled to fairly easily. Since Sri Lanka went though a civil war in 2009, it has now begun to have increased tourism, and foreign investors are once again confident to invest.

The gambling market in Sri Lanka is still in its infancy, but the government does support it. There have been tax concessions offered to gambling operators, and certain zones designated for legalized gambling. If India chooses not allow these gambling operators to enter, it seems that Sri Lanka will.