Are Casinos Good or Bad to Sri Lanka? (part 2)
Posted on October 26th, 2013

 Herold Leelawardena

There is a lot of new oil money in the African continent. No wonder South Africa has 45 casinos and over 37,000 slots. Those numbers has made South Africa the biggest casino operator in the African continent. What I wanted to emphasize is, SA has been attracting all the high heeled gamblers of neighbouring countries and siphoning most of their corrupt money.

 Today, all most all countries in Africa wanted to follow that lead by SA. And over 40 African countries had legalized casinos to date.  Every one of those countries compete with each other to grab each other’s corrupt money. But they have not agreed to put a stop to corruption. Every country started to look up to casinos as a way to find easy money. Otherwise why would the Zambian Prime Minister called for casinos to be opened in all towns and cities in his country while opening a casino in Lusaka in 2012. 20 years back Zambia had only four casinos. Now it has 22 and 3 more are scheduled to be opened in 2014. Question is, has casinos help lift populace out of poverty? NO, Except for one or two African countries all others remain dirt poor and the populace continue to linger in AID infested abject poverty.

 As for the North African countries, gaming is allowed only in some and that also in restricted settings. Locals are not allowed to gamble in these venues which are usually located in tourist hotels. Before the regime changed in 2012 however, Egypt boasted the biggest casino operation in Africa after SA. But After the ‘Arab Spring’ Morsi government wanted to shut most of them down. In fact, Tunisia too had to close down its casinos.

 There is a saying that if a pair of Chinese see two flies landed on a wall, they would bet which one would and climb pass a certain point. To say it all in short, Chinese are born gamblers. They love baccarat. So, one could argue that the influx of Chinese to African continent of late may have accelerated the casino gambling in that continent.

 Of the 193 member countries of the UN, there operate casinos legally in more than 127 countries. There are no legal casinos in Japan up to now. Nor does Brazil, Turkey, Norway or Thailand support the casino business. In mainland China too, casinos are illegal. Although there are no legal casinos in Thailand, Thai citizens currently travel in considerable numbers to casinos located along the Thai border with Cambodia. We have to agree then casino gambling today has become a thing that many humans cannot do without.

 It’s no surprise then, Japan is planning to join the now universal casino business in a big way. After a long debate, a multi-party group of lawmakers have agreed to submit a bill to the current session of parliament to lift the ban on casinos in Japan. Pundits believe casino operators have targeted the 2020 Olympic and have achieved the said success after lobbying for more than a decade.

 Macaw’s Melco crown entertainment boss, Lawrence Ho says, the market in Japan could easily be in excess of $10 billion to $15 billion or even more. Potentially it would be the second-largest in the world. No wonder, Ho is about to invest 5 billion on a casino resort in Japan. James Packer, the Australian casino mogul who plan to invest a measly $400 million in Sri Lanka prefers to join Lawrence to develop resorts in Tokyo and Osaka in a big way.

 However, it must be mentioned that Japanese lawmakers who favour casinos has outlined broad standards for licensing and regulating casino operators and their partners. According to them, Japan would establish an independent gaming regulator of Las Vegas and Singapore model at the outset. Lawmakers aim is to control issuance of annual licenses and the policing of gaming operations. They wanted to set the hurdles to enter the casino business high and keep out the “yakuza” the organized crime syndicate. 

 In all developed countries, there are Gaming Control Boards that are responsible for promulgating rules and regulations that dictate how gaming activities are to be conducted within that country. These rules and regulations, passed by the legislature, provide detailed requirements that must be satisfied by a gaming establishment, its owners, employees, and vendors. Such rules and regulations even cover licensing, accounting systems, rules of casino games, and auditing. Licencing applicant must demonstrate that they possess good character, honesty and integrity. An applicant is typically required to provide details of his personal information. He is also required to disclose details regarding previous business relationships, employment history, criminal records, and financial stability.

 Are we ready to appoint such a Gaming Control Board? (to be continued….)

 

 

 

6 Responses to “Are Casinos Good or Bad to Sri Lanka? (part 2)”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    ALL GAMBLING must be stopped.

    BIGGEST gambling in SL is govt. owned LOTTERIES!!

    They suck up rupees 14.7 BILLION every year from POOR people.

    That is 250 MILLION loaves of bread.

    150 MILLION kilos of rice.

    15 MILLION kilos of seer fish.

    60 MILLION packets of milk powder.

    This bloody curse MUST be stopped in full.

    Targeted casinos to destroy Colombians and Endians in Jihad capital is OK.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Why this hypocrisy?

    BIGGEST gambling is govt. lotteries. It should also stop. That is MORE dangerous because POOR SLs waste money in lotteries. They can NEVER go to CROWN CASINOS!!

  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    FULLY AGREE LORENZO, FULLY AGREE. ALL GAMBLING MUST BE STOPPED.

    IT IS A SHAME THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS GIVING CASINOS A FREE RIDE ON THE INLAND REVENUE BUS, WHILE SRI LANKAN BUSINESSES HAVE TO PAY TO CONTINUE THEIR BUSINESS. The Employees get less benefits hence.

    A MONEY MINTING CASINO BUSINESS IS EXEMPTED FROM TAXES FOR 10 – 13 YEARS. THE PRESIDENT IS ANSWERABLE, PERIOD. THOSE WHO ALLOWED THIS PLUNDER SHOULD BE NAMED AND PUNISHED.

    FOREIGNERS ARE ALLOWED TO COME HERE AND SCREW SRI LANKA. SHAME.

  4. AnuD Says:

    What is Pachinko in Japan. Japan is trying to use robots as low pay immigrant workers. Because they don’t want to invite immigrants and ruin the nation. Japanese girls are in North america looking for american husbands and looking for fun.

    Do we need the same ?

  5. Christie Says:

    There is a small hut near my place and a lot of money changes there. It is an agent for a Colombo bookie. The guy who runs keep most of the “chits” and only send few of them with the wagers. He is one of the richest. Our politicians, monks and other religious leader are dumb when it comes to these gambling dens.
    They are up in arms when it comes to attracting the same sort of gamblers but foreigners. I was wondering and made some enquiries.
    This info comes from my Indian Myna from Australia. MR. Packers fatter Kerry Packer was a media man and his media was right wing. During 70s and 80s at the height of the activities by the members and supporter’s (mainly Socialists and the Socialist Churches) of the Indian terrorist arm Packers media was telling the real facts about the terrorists. One publication a business magazine named Bulletin had articles exposing the activities of these terrorists. It showed, how terrorist from Sri Lanka arrive in Australia and as soon as they get their Permanente residence they return to start businesses and get married with massive dowries.
    Channel 9 a TV cahnnel owned by him exposed the activities of these terrorist. So Indians (include Tamils) and the Socialists hated Packer and his media. At the same time Fairfax media, ABC TV & Radio and SBS TV & Radio were busy misleading the Australian masses about the situation and the people of Sri Lanka. They still do.

    I do not think gambling is a good thing, but it is here and we have to live with it. I remember when I was a kid during the Sinhala New Year we bet on simple games of dice and Pancha (sea shells). So it is a cultural part of the Sinhalese and goes back thousands of years,.

    Let us put in to good use.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Why go against Govt. lotteries, or any type of lotteries ?
    Lotteries give hope to many thousands and people have benefitted greatly. We should not throw out everything that
    provide entertainment or hope. It is part of human nature to have some entertainment and hope, isn’t it ? Similarly, a few slot machines for gaming fun here and there seems harmless compared to a Casino Park.

    It is just that we ought not to allow such matters to go out of balance. Casinos are pretty extreme, in my view. Generally speaking, Casinos bring too many negative aspects to life, particularly a small country like Sri Lanka, struggling out of 30 plus years of terrorism. What we now need a period of peaceful growth.

    Question : Why did we do away with horse racing, if we are to replace that with Casinos which are far more destructive ?

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