Every day, Asiabet updates its online casino directory in Sri Lanka to bring you the best sites with the most attractive bonuses and offers. Maybe you’re looking for an online casino that’s got a great selection of table games, live casino dealers, or the newest slot games on the market. Or maybe you’re after the hottest casino brands with best welcome bonuses out there and 24/7 customer support. Whatever your needs, Asiabet’s got what you’re looking for:
Unknown to some, in Sri Lanka we do in fact have several domestic online casinos. The same as our land-based casinos, they target foreigners. These are less legal than their brick and mortar counterparts. They are also not regulated! Likewise, there is no way of knowing whether or not these online casino games in Sri Lanka are fair.
If you’re looking for a safe and regulated online casino for Sri Lanka, it is much better to use foreign online casinos registered offshore. While these sites are in English, as opposed to Tamil and Sinhala, they offer many advantages. Casinos based offshore are regulated by official gambling authorities like the GRA (Gibraltar Regulatory Authority) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). These commissions audit companies to make sure the online casinos for Sri Lanka that they license are both financially sound and offer fair games. The ones most recommended from these jurisdictions are listed in the table above. Our top partner casinos carry all the most popular online games, including hundreds of online slots and great table games like 3-card poker, Blackjack and Roulette.
If you can’t wait to play the best online casino games for Sri Lanka, the good news is that signing up with the best online casinos available is fast and easy. Simply follow our clear guide below and you could be playing at a top international site in minutes.
As you can see above, making the switch from a land-based to an online casino in Sri Lanka is incredibly straightforward. Should you still have questions about getting started, the rest of this page address many common concerns about playing at an online casino in Sri Lanka.
Many casino enthusiasts find that online casinos don’t always support Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR). The best way to solve this issue is to sign up for an e-wallet service, which allows you to make deposits and withdrawals in any currency while also avoiding most conversion fees. The most popular e-wallet providers include Skrill (Moneybookers) EntroPay, my personal favourite, NETELLER.
NETELLER acts just like an online bank account. In minutes you can open an account via their website www.neteller.com. When doing so, select USD, EUR, or GBP as your account currency. You can then find instructions to make a bank wire transfer to fund your NETELLER account. Once it is funded you can use that money to deposit at any online casino listed on this page.
At online casinos, as you make bets, depending on if you win or lose, your balance goes up and down. At any time you want to cash out that balance you can do so by requesting a NETELLER payout. The money will be taken from your casino account and added to your NETELLER account. You can then use it at another casino, or cash out from NETELLER too.
Perhaps the best feature is a debit card with a MasterCard symbol on it that NETELLER sends account holders. Even if your NETELLER account is in USD, EUR or GBP, you can still withdraw from your NETELLER balance in Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) at any ATM. NETELLER will debit your account balance using the appropriate exchange rate. Your NETELLER balance can also be spent using the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
There are far fewer Colombo casinos than there used to be. Other than the requirement they be licensed, a bigger issue is new tax rates that went into effect on 1 April 2013. As many small casinos cannot meet these terms they have been closed down. This was the case with Red Star Casino which closed after a 28 June 2013 police raid and Regina Club which was raided 3 days later. The largest casino groups are Dhammika Perera Casino, which owns the MGM, Ballys and Bellagio Casinos, and Rank Holdings, which own Star Dust Casino and Marino Casino in Colombo.
Without a formal licensing process, new Sri Lanka Casino developments here could be on shaky grounds. I will cover that in full in the next section, which concludes this article with information on Sri Lanka casino law and the history thereof.
The law which makes casino gambling a crime in Sri Lanka is the Gambling Ordinance (1890). While it has been in effect for nearly one and a quarter centuries it has been modified many times. This law sets the punishment as follows:
”Whoever commits unlawful gaming shall be punished with a fine not exceed one hundred rupees, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or both.”
Casinos first opened in Sri Lanka without changes to our law. These casinos referred to the fact that the Gambling Ordinance claimed the Act does not apply to rest houses under local authority or proprietary clubs so long as “no promiscuous gaming takes place therein”. While promiscuous gaming was not defined, the argument was that this means public gambling, and so the casinos called themselves clubs and required membership.
This loophole that might have allowed for clubs offering casino games has since been plugged multiple ways. The text has been edited to make it clear that it is only other aspects of the act that do not apply to these locations. A separate section increases the penalty to up to one year in prison. This has not stopped many casinos from offering locals membership, as enforcement is low. The letter of our law does however make it a crime that is punishable for up to 1 year in prison when locals without foreign passports use these casinos.
What I just explained might sound awkward in today’s time. Understand that from 23 July 1983 to 18 May 2009 (25 years, 9 months, 3 weeks and 4 days) we were in an intense civil war that caused our country great hardship. Casinos were allowed because they paid much-needed tax revenue. In fact, this is still the reason they are allowed.
The law which passed to bring in a license for online casino games in Sri Lanka is The Casino Business Regulation Act (No.17 of 2010) which passed on 7 December 2010. If you click that link you might be surprised to discover how few words this act contains. The main thing it did was set a rule that no person can engage in the business of casino after January 1, 2012 without a valid license. It set the penalty for violation at up 5 years in prison.
Despite the lack of regulation and rules, major investments are now being made to develop our casino industry at a rapid pace. It will be interesting to see if rich tourists are willing to come to Sri Lanka over Macau and online casinos in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines when these massive resorts get built.
Overall, our brick and mortar casinos industry has a long way to go to compete with the best online casinos in Sri Lanka. As for locals, the legality of using casinos remains a grey legal area. With many land-based and online casino games in Sri Lanka also not being regulated, the safest option is to play at a registered and regulated online casino like the ones on our online casino directory in Sri Lanka.