Crown increases Sri Lanka push

Senior execs visit Colombo seeking better tax, regulatory concessions.

Two senior Crown (CWN) executives have traveled to Sri Lanka to argue the government there should extend favourable tax and regulatory treatment for the company's proposed $US400 million ($A448.9 million) casino development in Colombo, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The visit marks the first for Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie and chief financial officer Ken Barton, who are inspecting the potential development site, visiting other casinos in Colombo and meeting the country's deputy minister of finance, Sarath Amunugama.

Crown hopes to build a casino and luxury 400-room hotel in the city, in-line with Sri Lanka's target of attracting 2.5 million foreign tourists by 2016, up from one million in 2012.

The Sri Lankan government has made an aggressive push to attract foreign capital since the end of a three-decade civil war in 2009, with a target of $US2 billion worth of foreign investment for 2013, though only $US430 million was invested in the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka in the first six months of the year.

The project would mark the first overseas development for Crown since a failed effort to develop a project in Las Vegas in 2007, the AFR added.

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