Government revenue from casinos increase rapidly

Government revenue collection from the casino clubs in terms of Betting and Gaming Levy has seen a rapid increase from USD 509,380 in 2003 to USD 2,5 million in 2006 according to information provided to Parliament last week.

Information was revealed to the House by Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya in response to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake in this regard. The government had accumulated USD 700,398 in 2004 and USD 1,7 million in 2005.

However, the Deputy Minister declined to give the names of those who run these casino clubs citing legal restrictions under the Turnover Tax Act. The successive governments had failed to accumulate the expected target of revenue in terms of this levy which came into effect in 2001.

In 2003, the government had expected revenue running to the tune of USD 1,1 million, and USD 4,18 in 2006. In addition to the Betting and Gaming Levy, the Income Tax, Value Added Tax and the Economic Service Surcharge have been imposed on the Casino clubs.