Panaji Mayor rejects request to renew licences

The ports minister had requested the CCP to reconsider the decision to not renew trading licences to casinos in Goa but obtained a negative response.

India.- Michael Lobo, ports minister of Goa, had requested the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) to reconsider the stance of not renewing trade licences of casinos operating in the Mandovi river. However, City Mayor Uday Madkaikar rejected the request.

On Monday, the CCP decided to not renew trade licences of six offshore casinos in Goa. The facilities are operating in the Mandovi river, and the decision forces them to move out of the jurisdiction. Mayor Uday Madkaikar said that the decision helps move the casinos out of Mandovi river.

“The government will request to reconsider the decision to not renew the trade licence of offshore casino operators,” said Lobo.

Madkaikar said that there is no question of reconsidering the CCP decision on casino trade licences. He added that as the licences expire on March 2020, Lobo has time to relocate the casinos to his side. “Every month, one casino can relocate to the Aguada side,” he said, according to The Times of India.

The trade licences of the offshore casinos are valid for the current financial year. However, once they expire, the CCP will not renew them. This decision applies to all casinos operating in the Mandovi.

Possible site for Goa’s casinos

Lobo hinted this week that the offshore casinos could relocate near the upcoming Mopa International Airport in North Goa. “Once the Mopa airport work starts, we will give the casinos a time period of four years, five years or six years to get land there and shift on ground,” Lobo said.

“Once we know when the Mopa airport will be functional and when flights will start operating from there, the casino policy will be released and the casinos can start relocating there,” Lobo said.

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