The Government has recorded an increase in its tax revenue from casinos in the last five years.
Deputy Finance Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena has informed parliament that the tax revenue earned by the government from 810 casinos have been Rs 196.4 million in 2006, Rs 282 million in 2007, Rs 268 million in 2008, Rs 270 million in 2009 and Rs 295 million in 2010. Gunawardena has made this comment in response to a question posed by United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekera.
The government has therefore said it had collected over Rs. 1.5 billion in tax revenue from the casinos in five years up to 2010. The Deputy Minister has told the House that the casinos had functioned under the provisions of the Gaming and Betting Act of 1988 and that the provisions of the recently passed Casino and Gambling Act of 2010 would be applicable for them from January 2012. The new law that legalizes casino gaming and betting on sports and horseracing and allows the establishment of special zones for gaming will make all unlicensed gaming and betting illegal after this year. The violators will be subjected to fines of $45,000 or five years in prison. (Colombo Page)