The local chief minister revealed that floating casinos will be moved onshore within three years, among other regulations.
India.- Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar has revealed during the state legislative assembly that the five offshore casinos operating in the Mandovi river will be moved to a “special entertainment zone” out of the water within the next three years.
As MLA’s showed some resistance, the minister confirmed that the government is working on new gaming policies that eliminates casino vessels from the language, making sure that floating casinos cannot exist in the state anymore. The new measures will be applied to the five existing off-shore casinos, ignoring the MV Lucky 7 that changed routes earlier this month and suffered incidents after it moved during the monsoons. Parrikar said that the casino can still operate if it finds another site where it doesn’t bother people in the area.
Last week, the high court of Bombay in Goa forbid the state government to issue new casino licenses to venues on the Mandovi without its permission. Moreover, Goa’s government said that the deadline to find a new home for the five offshore casinos was pushed to September, as authorities couldn’t find a way to agree on the decision. Nevertheless, off-shore operators will now have to move on shore if they want to keep operating.
Another important change in the local regulations is the amendment of the 2012 Prevention of Gambling Act in order to prohibit local residents from entering the new entertainment zone. The opposition party said that off-shore casinos were never supposed to operate in Goa, but Parrikar responded that “when any person invests money, a state has a responsibility for continuity, right or wrong.”
Parrikar also revealed last week that there is no correlation between the casino industry and the rising crime rate in the state. The revenue obtained from casinos had doubled over in the last two fiscal years, as the official said.