Goa’s floating casinos granted six month reprieve

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Goa’s government has granted a six month extension for casinos operating on Mandovi River, Public Works Department minister Sudin Dhavalikar confirmed in late September. At present, the state is home to six offshore and 10 landbased casinos.

The news came one day before the previous six-month extension, granted in April, was due to expire on 30 September. The latest extension will allow the offshore casinos to continue operating until 31 March 2019.

Back in August, Goa’s chief minister Manohar Parrikar stated that his government’s new casino policy would be ready by September and would finalise the location for the state’s new “land-based designated entertainment zone”, thought to be a situated near Mopa Airport.

“Licences for casino operations granted for designated zones can be considered for a tenure of 10-15 years taking into account the huge investment required for such projects,” Parrikar stated.

However it appears that the legislation has once again been put on hold in the face of Parrikar’s ongoing health issues.

“As the CM is unwell and not able to work, the government as not been able to finalise the casino policy,” a senior government official confirmed.

Alongside the amended legislative framework, it had also been announced that a new gaming commissioner would be appointed to oversee the sector by December. Yet in light of Parrikar’s health concerns, at present it is unclear if this deadline will be met.

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