Sri Lanka eyes gaming boost to tourism
Sri Lanka is already home to a thriving locals casino scene, and it is hoped that clearer and better-regulated gaming laws will stabilize the sector and entice offshore gaming developers to enter the market. The island nation is already a major tourism draw for India and other nations in the region, but is still looking to fully recover from a protracted civil war and the effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
“Sri Lanka has huge potential to be a perfect gaming destination,” Hardik Dhebar, chief financial officer of Delta Corp, an Indian casino operator, told the Times. “There has been 27 percent growth in the tourism industry year on year, and for the Indians, Chinese and Koreans who are flocking in, it’s a destination that offers them everything, from holiday packages to gaming.”
Despite the changes to gaming regulations, large-scale gaming resorts are not expected to break ground in Sri Lanka until 2014-2015 at the earliest.