21 October, 2020

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James Packer Outlines Plan To Turn Sri Lanka Into Gambling Mecca

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 Colin Kruger

Colin Kruger

Just days after receiving approval to build a $1.5 billion luxury hotel and casino at Sydney Harbour development Barangaroo, James Packer is making his most public pitch yet to build a $400 million casino resort in Sri Lanka.

In a speech to be delivered to delegates at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Colombo overnight – a conference being held ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Mr Packer said a luxury casino resort is a necessity if Sri Lanka is to achieve its potential to become ‘‘a leading tourist mecca for the rising middle class of India, China and the rest of Asia.’’

Mr Packer said Sri Lanka’s ‘‘ambitious’’ tourism targets are ‘‘only achievable with the right tourism infrastructure and attractions’’ and cited the success of Singapore in turning around its performance as a tourism destination with the development of two integrated casino resorts.

Mr Packer has added $3 billion to his personal wealth since July last year as shares of his casino operator, Crown Resorts, doubled in value. The main driver of this growth was investors recognising the success of his bet on Macau which has become a gambling mecca for mainland China.

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    I am sorry to say but as a Muslim I do not like the words Gambling & Mecca (holiest place for Muslims/though described as a tourist hotspot) to be in the same sentence. Please rephrase the headline if possible..

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      Dear Colin Kruger,

      Yes. Mecca is the wrong word. Las Vegas is more appropriate.

      “Just days after receiving approval to build a $1.5 billion luxury hotel and casino at Sydney Harbour development Barangaroo, James Packer is making his most public pitch yet to build a $400 million casino resort in Sri Lanka.”

      Better to say, Las Vegas, instead of saying Mecca. Why? Mecca is a Pilgrimage, not vice and gambling.

      The activities are going to be similar, Gambling, prostitution, rape, money laundering etc. So, the polititians, the monks and their goons can have a good time and attain Nirvana or Nibbana in Colombo.

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        New buildings, including the Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia looks like copied Las Vegas’s tacky architextural style, and the Saudis destroyed many ancient Muslim archaeological sites to build their current baubles.

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        Mecca is market. Author clearly know Islam and History of it. I thank him for using that word rather being like a Sri Lankan intellect who continuously lie about Islam and it’s religion of peace manifesto.

        Casino should be started next to Dawatagaha Mosque or That Mosque should be replaced with a Casino because Casinos are more spiritual and peaceful than mosques. It teach to play peacefully and impartially unlike mosques which segregate people base on their religions.

        That’s why UAE started casinos. They know one day they can get rid these Islamic shits by casinos.

        Thanks for reading.

      • 0
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        Brother Amarasiri and Azhar,

        I agree the word Mecca is inappropriate. Mecca stands for bloodshed, ignorance and utter inhumanity. Nothing to do with casinos. Every Friday after prayars, heavily drugged men and women are brought to a square, not far from Kaba, and their heads are chopped off in public. And all the Meccans rush through their Friday prayers to see the spectacle and clap their hands with each head that rolls. Allahu Akbar.

        NB. It is no secret that the amount of money gambled by your Royal guardians of Mecca, mostly on horse races run in England is equivalent or more than the GDP of many impoverished Muslim Countries such as Bangla Desh. Allahu Akbar.

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      Hambanthota tours and travels is arranging pilgrimage to Gambling Mecca; all aboard?
      I am wondering how many of the bogus BBS, Ravana and other extremists clergy will board tour bus ? No sound from these buggers now.

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      The Islamic place of pilgrimage is spelled as Makkah as in Arabic.

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      It is too late Azhar, but Mecca is the exact word that James Packer used at the summit. Interesting how this reporter got that keyword Packer was going to use in the speech. Is Colin Kruger the press secretary for Packer or something?

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      Azhar,

      Anton has has helpfully clarified the writers’ use of the word ‘mecca’. No disrespect could have been intended especially as the subject, Packer, is not (to my knowledge) a muslim and SL is not an Islamic country.

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    James, like his late father Kerry Packer is keen to engage globally. Kerry Packer has transformed cricket into a global sport, creating opportunities to sportsmen. Sri Lankan cricket has benefitted and now Sri Lankan cricketers are amongst the best., thanks to Kerry. Give James the chance to further assist Lanka to create opportunities to Lankans economically. Certainly James too will benefit but as in cricketing terms, it will be a partnership.

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      Why should he do that through gambling, money laundering, drugs, prostitution and a lot of other things that go with casinos?

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        Please do us a favor and stick to your Sri Lanka bashing rhetoric. It’s evident that you don’t know about present day casinos.

    • 0
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      Lal, get your head out of yr As_, Moron !

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    For the first time a Casino Moghul addresses a Commonwealth Forum. Chairman Rajapakses economic solution for the development of newly developing nations? Maybe he can get Elizabeth Regina of Prince Charles to open the Casino and cast the first dice.

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    Look, hypocrisy is a Sri Lankan national pastime – no pork, no beef, no chicken on poya days but sausages, bacon and fish are okay. Seven casinos operate with hardly a whisper but add another one and there is mayhem. All political parties receive hefty donations from the owners – dare to deny – so immunity is guaranteed.

    The poor gamble away their daily earnings ate thousands of betting shops – but not a sound from the clergy, especially considering that the Chairmanship of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress has been held for the past six years by the second largest racing company chairman and MD.

    Go figure

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    Azhar

    This is a very old expression which is quite commonly used in the English language.I am sure the writer who appears to be a foreigner, meant no disrespect , and was simply exercising his right to articulate his views freely.

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    Packers gotta point. The Indian middle class – that value less bunch of trash – is waiting to be milked of its millions and good luck to Packer if he can do that.

    Casinos will also bring in opportunities for housemaids to transit from cleaning floors abroad to becoming prostitutes at home and ‘finishing schools’ that teach them the tricks of the trade will make a few bucks as well.

    For the men there will be gay prostitution and sleek dope delivery systems which operate to manufacture and deliver designer drugs and of course to keep the girls in line and collect taxes.

    The government has at last transformed the economy into one that delivers cash to the middle classes. Prostitution and drug dealing are the names of the new games in town.

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      ” Packers gotta point. The Indian middle class – that value less bunch of trash – is waiting to be milked of its millions and good luck to Packer if he can do that. “

      That’s the only consolation; that the bourgeois pretentious Indian Middle Class get bilked by Packer and Sri Lankans.

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      Very well said, old man !

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      Crazy as you are, you have raised some interesting points. Don’t blame young Packer for prostitution, money laundering etc. These things have been around for a long time before was born. Packer has put In a good word for Lanka, whereas we cannot even get the UNP to do the same. Billionaires from elsewhere too will want to invest in Sri Lanka. This MR govt will teach the UNP a thing or two about capitalism, next in will be billionaires from Russia. Well done MR!!!

  • 0
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    All the recent major investments in Sri Lanka are in Tourism. They will all fail, if the primary attraction of providing some fun and entertainment for tourists is eliminated. There is a two page spread in the Financial times of 13 November on the debate in Singapore before they accepted the fact that integrated resorts are essential for the success of their tourism strategy. We need to follow Singapore.

    Malaysia which is a Muslim country, also accepted the necessity of a similar strategy. Sri Lanka has to accept this reality and approve this vital investment. At the same time, we must have all the safeguards adapted by Singapore and Malaysia to restrict all forms of gambling by Sri Lankan citizens. This includes measures to regulate betting on foreign horse races Etc., and strict measures to prevent Sri Lankan citizens from gambling in the existing casinos.

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      If they are good for the economy then why restrict sri lankans?

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      Truth, you have made fair and valid points.
      Notwithstanding what other countries do, the principle must be for us Sri Lankans to have a rational debate (as far as that is possible) and make decisions for what is best and comfortable for the majority of us. We do NOT have to follow the practices and mores of other countries. Sri Lanka is 70%+ Buddhist (20% for Malaysia and 33% in Singapore)and this should/will be a key determinant in the outcome. Many of us are currently fighting for respect to be shown to those who belong to minority religions in our midst; let us take the initiative and respect the wishes of our majority citizens in this crucial matter.

  • 0
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    The unholy alliance of LTTE supporters(in Australia), NGO activitists, bankrupt politicians, Marxists, religious zealots and a minority of honest idiots are all trying to stop the crown investment.

    They should visit Australia, see a crown hotel and understand what kind of a crime they are doing on the country by trying stop this investment.

  • 0
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    Mecca is always good.

    Otherwise Maradana will be a misled Muslims’ (not real Wahab Muslims) Mecca!

    When the gambling Mecca has its Haj it will be unreal.

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      Yeah totaly agree Ima Fuk, It be nice place without those dirty muslims running around in Maradana.. Hope we build more and more casino to make it the macca in the world..

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    Singapore is an ugly little country with hardly anything to see but they get more tourists than anywhere else, and packer is right . We need to have the right infrastructure .

    It is not like vice does not exist now . they will have to control it much better.

  • 0
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    Look this really wouldn’t be a bad thing for the economy, and no doubt it will bring in way way more tourists to the country. As Athula says, it’s already here.. Anyone who’s saying this is going to change the culture of Sri Lanka, etc, etc.. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING YOURSELF!!!!!

    The culture and the mindset of the young generation has already been changed. The people who are supposed to look after the younger generation gave up the fight a long time ago. You guys living nicely with a retirement making sure you are ok and not thinking about others are the real people to blame.. There is a dark evil force that you guys did not stop, you guys only thought about your own family and their well being. Well maybe with a thought of “anne.., what can we do.., that’s just the way it is..” Thanks guys we really look up to you guys for the fight you gave..

    This is what happens when selfish people arise to be the majority.. You are no better than the Rajapaksas..

  • 0
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    mecca is not makka (which is the correct spelling. it is like spelling packer as pucker.

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      Mecca, also transliterated as Makkah, is a city in the Hejaz and the capital of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level

  • 0
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    its very good that casinos are coming up as it will provide a lot of happiness for those monks of the BBS working tirelessly to protect SL heritage ;-)

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