Leading blue chip Company JKH inks MOU to run Cinnamon Life casino
Sri Lanka’s leading blue chip Company John Keells Holdings has entered into an agreement with an international gaming operator recently to run a casino in the Cinnamon Life integrated resort in accordance with a plan initiated in 2014.
JKH’s 2014/15 Annual Report, former Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has assured shareholders that the Waterfront was to lease a 150,000 square foot area to conduct casino business.
This was a mere 3% of a total area of 4.5 million square feet of the constructed area, to an existing casino licence holder to operate in partnership with an international Gaming operator under strict gaming regulations consistent with the best in the world.
Waterfront Properties Ltd. did not intend to operate a casino nor did it intend to own a casino licence,” the former JKH Chief has said in his review in the Annual Report.
After allmost 9 years, John Keells Holdings recently said it has signed up an international gaming operator to run is casino in the Cinnamon Life integrated resort.
Waterfront Properties Ltd (WPL), the operating firm had entered into a memorandum of understanding with a ‘leading international gaming operator’, the firm said.
“This MOU consists of the framework for investing into and operating of a casino at the Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort as well as the commercial framework between the parties,” Chaiman Krishan Balendra told shareholders in interim accounts.,
“As originally envisaged, WPL will lease out space at the Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort for the operation of the casino.
On finalising details of the fit-out and equipping costs and conclusion of the lease agreement, a detailed disclosure will be made.
“We are confident that the convergence of all elements in the launch of the integrated resort will unlock its full potential as a transformative development in South Asia and be a catalyst in creating tourism demand and foreign exchange earnings for Sri Lanka.”
JKH was hit by a large forex loss in the September quarter on a 225 million US dollar loan taken to build Cinnamon Life after accounts were converted from US dollars to rupees. The loans will mature from 2026.
“Once operations commence, the business will generate USD denominated streams of revenue through its hotel and conferencing facilities,” the firm said
n JKH’s 2014/15 Annual Report, former Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has assured shareholders that the Waterfront project will continue. He also clarified about the casino operations.
He said it was also noteworthy that the Waterfront project “did not request, and, in fact, turned down, any tax exemptions on gaming activities under the Strategic Development Projects Act”.
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) traffic, particularly from India , with services, products and facilities that are on par or exceed those of other regional destinations,” Ratnayake said.
“This, I am confident, will enable us to attract the high spending segment of tourists which Sri Lanka has hitherto been unable to satisfy.
It is indeed this vision of Colombo as a hub for business and leisure travel which was at the heart of conceptualising the Waterfront project,” the former JKH Chairman added nine years ago.