May, 1, 2014
EXCLUSIVE: To the questions raised by media reports whether multi-billion dollar Australian businessman JamesPacker would not come to Sri Lanka under the prevailing situation, the main Sri Lankan stakeholder in this project, prominent business personality Ravi Wijeratne provided the answers to AdaderanaBiz.
Ravi Wijeratne confirmed that James Packer would continue to stay with planned mixed development project at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo by the ‘Lake Leisure Holdings (Pvt) Ltd where he too is a main stakeholder and that Packer has not taken any decision whatsoever to abandon this decision.
“The Australian media have based their reports on Sri Lankan media reports. Apart from these James Packer has never expressed any of his views. James Packer will definitely be with this project while ironing out certain matters involving this project.” Ravi Wijeratne told AdaderanaBiz.
While approving the Strategic Development Projects Bill the government stated that approval for casinos would not be granted through this Act.
When inquired about this, Ravi Wijeratne told AdaderanaBiz that it is correct and that the government would not provide any new licenses for casinos.
However, he also said that the casino business is active in Sri Lanka even now and that he already possesses two licenses for casinos.
The proposed investment by Australian businessman James Packer in the mixed development project under Lake Leisure Holdings is USD 350 million.
This proposed project is at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo on the land that is currently a vehicle parking place opposite Lake House.
Though James Packer, whose net assets are worth nearly USD 7.7 billion inherited a media related business from his father the late media mogul Kerry Packer, he successfully diversified into various other business sectors.