James Packer’s Crown is in talks to develop a “must see” $US400 million ($A416.17 million) casino resort in the Sri Lanka capital Colombo.
Crown says it is in talks with the Sri Lankan government and potential joint-venture partners about developing the five-star resort. “Sri Lanka is a beautiful and unique country with huge tourism potential,” Crown chairman James Packer said in a statement on Friday.
“I have great confidence in the country’s future and believe, as a destination, that it is Sri Lanka’s time to shine in Asia.” Mr Packer said the luxury casino resort would help attract international tourists to Sri Lanka, especially from India and China.
Crown said the Sri Lankan parliament and board of investment were considering whether to grant investment approvals for the project.
Also, the project is subject to final agreement between the potential joint-venture parties and receipt of other approvals.
The casino resort, to be known as Crown Sri Lanka, will be located at Beira Lake.
It will boast: gaming areas; 450 hotel rooms; restaurants; entertainment, event and conferencing facilities; shops; and a water feature.
The casino resort is expected to employ 2,500 Sri Lankans.
Crown currently operates Crown casinos in Melbourne and Perth, and has joint-venture operations with Melco International in Macau.
It has been upgrading its Australian casinos to make them more competitive with new casino resorts in Asia and attract more high-rolling gamblers from China.
Crown is also negotiating the development of a six-star casino resort in Sydney and has expressed interest in developing a casino resort in Brisbane.
The joint-venture Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE) in Macau operates the City of Dreams casino resort and is developing the Studio City casino resort.
MCE also has an interest in a consortium to develop and operate a casino resort in the Philippines capital, Manila.