A recent news report confirmed that authorities in Sri Lanka have plans to raise the taxes currently levied on casinos and gambling enterprises functioning in the region. This development follows on the heels of plans for several new casinos coming up in tourist zones in Colombo and other tourist hotspots in Sri Lanka. Reportedly, the Genting Casino Group based in Malaysia, two gambling companies from Singapore and the FEE Group from the US have expressed an avid interest in building elite casinos in Sri Lanka.
The objective of the tax hike on all casinos operating in the country is to increase the revenue cut derived from this sector. According to authorities, a sum of 1.5 billion INR has been collected from the various Sri Lankan casinos operating in the region over the past 6 years, noting a gradual spike in revenue over the course of time. The new tax hike will support the Sri Lankan government’s plan to advance its tourism industry; the plan involves getting more revenue out of this sector, hopefully making $2 billion USD by the time of 2016.
What this will mean for the Indian gambling and casino sector remains to be seen. Indian authorities may also feel the need to raise taxes to be on par with the Sri Lankan authorities or may choose to do nothing. In the event of the Indian taxes on casinos and gambling enterprises being cheaper, gambling companies may see the Indian market as a better option for investing.