Sri Lanka removes casino entrance fee, but taxes tightened


Nov 27, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to remove the casino entrance fee imposed in the last budget and plans to increase the annual levy imposed on the business of gaming, other than rujino, to 400 million rupees.

“I also propose to amend the Finance Act to make directors and shareholders personally liable for non-payment or any act which is taken to avoid payment of Casino Industry Levy introduced in Interim Budget,” the text of the budget speech 2016 said.

Sri Lanka charges 100 US dollars per person who enters casinos, according to the previous budget.

The present annual levy of 200 million rupees for carrying on the business of playing rudjino will be reduced to 5 million rupees per year. The present annual levy of 200 million rupees for carrying on the business of Casino will be increased to 400 million rupees per year with newly proposed measures.

The new administration which won the presidential election on January 08th this year decided to withdraw tax concessions given to three new casino projects in the same month they came into power. The projects are by Queensbury Leisure Ltd, Lake Leisure Holdings (Private) Limited and Waterfront Properties Ltd., a project by John Keells Holdings.

The government imposed a one-time tax of one billion rupees on casino owners in the interim budget 2015.

The finance minister said the government expects a 5,000 million rupees of revenue though this tax which will come in to effect on April 15, 2015.

The government also canceled all the tax breaks given to the new casinos though the interim budget.

Even though the government has given free entry for casinos, it has imposed a surcharge on the income liability of the casino to the government.

“Honourable Speaker, to avoid any undue benefit by tobacco, liquor and casino industries from corporate tax revisions and keeping in line with government policy of creating a society free of tobacco, liquor and betting and gaming, I propose to impose a surtax at the rate of 25 percent of income tax liability.” Karunanayake said.

Tax liability is the total amount of tax that an entity is legally obligated to pay to an authority as the result of the occurrence of a taxable event.

The government plans to raise 7000 million rupees though this proposal which will come in to effect from any Year of Assessment commencing from April 1, 2016.

In addition, higher rate of 30 percent will be applicable for the profit and income of betting and gaming, liquor, tobacco and banking and financial services, including insurance and leasing industry and the trading activities.