Sri Lanka lawmakers express concerns over delay in creation of gaming regulatory body

Jenny Ortiz 2 months ago
Sri Lanka lawmakers express concerns over delay in creation of gaming regulatory body

A panel at the Parliament of Sri Lanka raised concerns over the delay in establishing a gaming regulatory body in the country.

In a statement, members of the country’s Parliament’s Committee on Public Finance (COPF) questioned the delay as the government earlier pledged to establish the regulatory body by the end of 2023.

The Asia Gaming Brief reported that as a result of the delay, the COPF summoned the director general of the country’s fiscal policy to provide information regarding both physical and online casinos, including tax figures.

The COPF also wants the official to present a proposed strategy for recovering outstanding taxes.

The panel members emphasised the urgency of enacting the legislation as insufficient regulations lead to substantial losses for the government.

Moreover, a representative of the South Asian country’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) mentioned the necessity for additional expertise to develop a robust revenue model similar to that of Singapore.

The report said the COPF granted a two-week extension for the submission of relevant documents while expecting the legislation to be completed by March 31.

The need for a gaming regulatory body

In June 2023, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers gave a go signal for the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority.

Reports said the regulatory body would govern tax collection, counter criminal activity, and negative societal impacts from gaming.

The South Asian country has been trying to set up a regulatory body with the aim to ensure casino operators pay their fair share of taxes.

Millions lost because of the lack of regulatory oversight

Some estimates show about $7.4 million (€6.8 million) in casino taxes are owed because of the lack of regulatory oversight.

The new legislation will regularise gaming and include licences of up to 20 years, with a five-year renewable licence priced at around $1.36 million (€1.26 million).

SiGMA Eurasia and SiGMA Africa – less than a month away

With less than a month until the highly anticipated SiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11th of March, the gaming industry is abuzz with excitement. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Africa is strategically positioning itself at the forefront of Africa’s burgeoning gaming landscape. With the continent’s market poised for exponential growth, driven by a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem and increasing mobile connectivity, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry. By bringing together leading stakeholders and visionaries in gaming, SiGMA aims to catalyse progress and propel Africa towards a new era of prosperity and opportunity. As the countdown to the event begins, anticipation mounts for what promises to be a landmark gathering of gaming enthusiasts and innovators in the vibrant city of Cape Town.

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets.


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