The surprise election of Maithripala Sirisena as the new president of Sri Lanka at the start of January 2015 could scupper the development of the new casino resorts in the country.
In the campaigning for the election, Sirisena had pledged to cancel the tax concessions linked to the casino licences awarded to Crown Resorts and John Keells Holdings (JKH). Now that he is in power, if the new president acts on his pledges, it could halt the development of the casino resorts.
Even before Sirisena took over from Mahinda Rajapaksa as president of Sri Lanka, the topic of casinos had already been a politically complicated one.
The continued elections and change of Prime Ministers in Japan has been a major obstacle in the progress of casino development over the last decade. Prime Minster Shinzo Abe called a snap election in December 2014 and retained its majority as he sought public approval for his government’s economic policies.
Macau, too, has seen its revenues suffer in 2014 in part because of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive which began in March 2013.