Authorities in Sri Lanka have officially paved the way for a gaming regulatory authority to be established. The new authority would govern tax collection, counter criminal activity and negative societal impacts from gaming.

The new legislation is also likely to include an entrance fee for casinos.

Ina Monday meetings, the nation’s Cabinet of Ministers gave a nod to the Gambling Regulatory Authority, following a proposal tabled by the president on Monday.

The nation has been trying to set up a regulatory body, aimed at ensuring casino operators pay their fair share of taxes.

It has also agreed to issue new casino licenses, last year noting that a 2010 law regulating casinos required such licenses, but that none had been issued.

According to estimates, some $7.4 million in casino taxes are owed, given the lack of regulatory oversight.

The new move to regularize gaming would include licenses of up to 20 years, with a five-year renewable license costing $1.36 million.

A major proponent for the legalization is the country’s finance minister, Dhammika Perera, who operates three of the four casino licenses in the nation.