The government is set to regularise the Sri Lanka casino industry to ease difficulties faced by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
The Casino Business (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010 and the Betting and Gaming Tax Act No. 40 of 1988 provide for the regulation of the casino industry, and under Act No. 17 of 2010, licenses are required to operate casino businesses in Sri Lanka.
The Cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in his capacity as the Finance Minister, regarding the regularisation of the casino industry in Sri Lanka
The proposal submitted by the Prime Minister to the Cabinet of Ministers in this regard points out that due to the necessary orders to enforce the provisions of the said Act not been issued so far, no license has been issued to any casino business under the said Act.
Under this set up it is difficult to formally collect taxes from the institutions currently engaged in the casino business as a result, the cabinet memorandum revealed.
In an article published in Times online web site on May 31 it has been highlighted that Sri Lanka’s Betting and Gaming tax law will be amended to provide more teeth to the Inland Revenue Department to crack down on casinos which are evading the payment of taxes using loopholes in the existing law.
The tax rates pertaining to Betting and Gaming Levy have not been revised from 2015 onwards. Hence, following amendments are proposed with regard to Betting and Gaming Levy effective from January 1, 2023, Prime Ministers office said. .
The Annual Levy for carrying on the business of gaming will be increased to Rs. 500 million from Rs. 200 million
Annual Levy for betting will also be increased to Rs. 5 million from Rs. 4 million when it is carried out through agents.
Annual levy betting is to be increased to Rs. 1 million from Rs. 0.6 million when it is carried on using live telecast facilities.
The annual levy will be increased to to Rs. 75,000 from Rs. 50,000 when betting is carried on without the use of live telecast facilities
The levy on Gross Collection of betting centres will be increased to 15 per cent from 10 per cent.(Bandula) .
In addition to the tax policy reforms, steps will be taken to strengthen revenue administration at revenue collecting agencies such as Sri Lanka Customs, Inland Revenue Department and Excise Department with the infusion of technology and rigorous tax audits, Finance Ministry sources disclosed.