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Sri Lanka refuses to allow casinos after opponents say they would lead to prostitution

Published on Apr 26, 2014 9:07 PM
 
A Sri Lankan supporter of the country's main opposition holds a placard during a protest outside a casino in Colombo on April 24, 2014. Sri Lanka has refused to allow casinos at three super-luxury resorts planned in the capital after opponents said they would lead to prostitution, an official said on Saturday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka has refused to allow casinos at three super-luxury resorts planned in the capital after opponents said they would lead to prostitution, an official said on Saturday.

It was not immediately known whether the casino ban would endanger the development of the three mega-resorts in Colombo, which have attracted investment worth US$1.3 billion (S$1.63 billion) from tycoons including Australian gambling mogul James Packer, who runs plush casinos in Melbourne, Perth, Macau and London.

Developers, including Mr Packer, wanted casinos to be part of all three luxury resorts, but the government rejected the plans, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse said.

"We will not allow casinos. That we say very clearly," Mr Rajapakse told Parliament. "They (the promoters) asked, we did not allow, nor will we allow (in the future)."

 
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