The Rajapaksa regime might be spewing lies to the locals on their stand on casinos, but their underhand deals to establish casinos Sri Lanka cannot be kept under the wraps forever as a powerful henchman of the regime – Dhammika Perera has been listed among the top 50 gaming tycoons in Asia.
Perera has been ranked 26th in Asia’s top 50 gaming tycoons list, described as Sri Lanka’s richest man. He owns three of the four casinos in the country that are officially sanctioned. But the real push of Perera into the top 50 list is owing to his new casino project – the Queensbury, worth 350 million USD for which the government has given the green light.
As the regime keeps pushing for tourism to become the country’s major foreign income generator, casinos are one of the areas where attention was focused on in order to generate some easy money.
Among the other two casino projects that have been given the approval are the Crown Colombo led by James Packer worth 350 million USD and 850 million USD project by John Keells Holdings. While the future of Crown Colombo seems uncertain presently, Perera has become the biggest casino operator in Sri Lanka.
The newest casino project Queensbury is supposed to be 40 stories with a room capacity of 500. His hold on the local economy includes 23 listen companies that account for 8% of all the companies traded on the Colombo Stock Exchange.