Best Online Casinos in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka currently has no regulation whatsoever for gambling industry, but the government takes this market positively. Which is good news for all local gamblers and gambling tourists. You will be able to visit local land based casinos without any problems. While there are no locally based online casino in Sri Lanka operators, the state does not limits access of the locals to any offshore online casinos wishing to accept players from Sri Lanka.
The only important thing to keep in mind is choosing not only a fun, but also safe and reliable casino. But here, we’ve got your back covered. Check out the list below and find the best casino in Sri Lanka. We have collected the best paying, licensed, and safe sites for you. Claim your bonus, and win real money online!
List of Online Casinos for players from Sri Lanka
History of Gambling in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a long history, but little is known indeed about its gambling traditions. There are some traditional games, of course, but we are not sure whether they were part of gambling before.
In the middle of the 16th century, Sri Lanka found itself controlled by the Portuguese. The newcomers were Catholics, so local gambling traditions, if any, seemed to be doomed. Compared to other Asian countries, this one does not have an exciting history of gambling activities.
Due to being densely populated by European newcomers, the country started to gradually see the development of classic “European” type of gambling. At the dawn of the 20th century, horse racing became a thing; in 1922, the first holiday totalizator was organized and it was repeated annually for the next several years.
From 1983 to 2009, the country was plagued with civil war. Besides other consequences of this long war, gambling industry was part of the markets that got no attention from the government. While other countries started to develop their gambling niche exactly in these years due to the development of the Internet, lawmakers in Sri Lanka had other problems to solve. The niche was unregulated, although not really non-existent. In the 1990s, the country started to enjoy betting on sports like football, tennis, rugby, etc.
The major changes arrived in 2010, when the government decided to start regulating the niche. The main motivation was to boost the economy, and tourism in particular. There were also rumours that land based casinos will be restricted for locals, but this did not happen. The actual change that really took place is all brick and mortar facilities started to abide by certain rules, and pay taxes to the government.
In 2015, a new President was elected, and his views on gambling were much more conservative than those of the previous rulers. Already in 2016, the state suspended the development of three huge casino resorts in Colombo. This was a signal that the industry expansion was stopped, at least for a while. Yet, no other tangible regulation was applied. Most land based venues continued functioning, and access to offshore online casinos was not restricted. However, the laws may change fast, so keep an eye on the current situation.
Current Situation on Gambling in Sri Lanka
Today, there are several land based gambling houses in the country, most of them are situated in Colombo. Both locals and tourists are allowed to enter and play, if they are 18 years old and older. Tourism is booming here, so these venues are rather popular. However, it is still tourists who are the most frequent visitors. You see, the main three religions in Sri Lanka are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam - and none of those takes gambling lightly. So, locals are less frequent guests at brick and mortar venues. They prefer gambling online.
Sri Lanka online casinos are wildly popular. However, there are two main issues to keep in mind. Firstly, internet connection is not very good in Sri Lanka. Every year, the quality of the Internet increases, but generally, you have to be sure in your Internet connection. Secondly, while residents are free to access any foreign online casinos, not each and every foreign online casino welcomes players from Sri Lanka happily. This is because of the unclear legislation, mostly. So, finding a fun and reliable real money platform can be a trouble if you do not have a list of the best online casinos like the one provided above.
While for now, the situation is rather gambling-friendly, some legal changes are on their way. Make sure you keep an eye on the laws, in order to always be on the safe side with your gambling fun.
Sri Lanka Gambling Laws
There are generally no laws on gambling in the country, the market was neither banned nor regulated properly. The operators abide by few rules, while players are free to gamble where they desire.
However, recently a major change took place in the legal landscape of gambling in Sri Lanka. Previously, local Sri Lanka casinos paid around $1 million fee annually to the government as a license pay. However, the government started to take efforts and regulate the niche properly, which may lead to decreasing trends. We are talking about the so-called “sin tax”.
The new law applied demands the annual license pay would double for the operators. Moreover, every casino in Sri Lanka is to pay 15% tax fee on their turnover. The Sri Lanka casino operators are not happy at all, but the gamblers are to be affected also. The law suggests that an obligatory $50 fee is to be paid for entering a casino. This new laws will most likely force the operators to boost their prices for the players.
The main reason for this new law was to cut down the popularity of gambling, and also to generate money for niches that are underfinanced in the country.
Regulatory Authorities in Sri Lanka
As for today, there is no regulatory authority for the gambling niche whatsoever.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Sri Lanka
According to the laws in place, all players are to pay 10% tax on their winnings. Moreover, you have to confirm the winnings sum, and the tax paid, by contacting the casino customer support, and the lawyer.
Land-Based Casinos in Sri Lanka
The biggest land based casinos are all located in Colombo. To give you a clear picture of the offline gambling, let’s discuss their main features quickly.
Opened in 2013, this casino offers 90 table games, 70 slots machines, and some unprecedented 40 poker tables.
Founded back in 1998, this venue boasts 30+ table games, and a small hall of slots machines. There is also a facility for Live Dealer games streaming.
This casino has been in operation since 1995. There are mostly slots machines and automated casino games of all kinds.
Banking Options for Gambling in Sri Lanka
Making bets offline is better in cash, but if not, you can freely use your plastic card:
- American Express
If you prefer online gambling, and do not want to use plastic, one of the following options may be your favourite:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Please check the banking options page carefully at any online casino Sri Lanka you visit. There may be limited options for players from Sri Lanka.
Facts About Sri Lanka
Did you know that:
- Sri Lanka was used to be called Ceylon
- Lipton Tea was created here
- the country actually produces around 20% of tea in the world
- the country is nicknamed The Teardrop of India