Despite the controversy surrounding the potential social degradation and the massive tax concessions granted for James Packer’s proposed US $ 350 million resort and casino in D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, the Board of Investment (BoI) said it had so far not entered into a formal agreement with the casino kingpin.
“No proper agreement has been signed yet. We have reached an agreement only in principle. But that is also not with James Packer,” said Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera.
According to Dr. Jayaweera, BoI has signed the agreement with a company by the name ‘Lake Leisure’ which was established by a consortium of investors of which Packer is not the major shareholder.
“We have approved the project in principle subject to Parliament approval. So, once it is approved by the Parliament, the formal agreement will be signed within the next 2 to 3 weeks,” he said.
Being the richest Australian, Packer’s involvement in Sri Lanka in the capacity of an investor has significantly boosted the country’s profile among other international investors.
During the recent months, Packer has made several visits to Sri Lanka and met senior government ministers.
“He is very much involved and currently is working with other parties on the project,” Dr. Jayaweera said.