Offshore Casinos In Goa Are Expected Onshore In The Next Four Years
The Indian state of Goa has announced plans to shift all offshore casinos currently operating on the River Mandovi such as the MV Royal Flotel Deltin back to shore within the next four years. Goa is one of the two states in India that allows casino gambling and its offshore casinos are popular with both locals and foreigners.
According to media sources, Goa has already started to draft new state policies that would likely move these offshore casinos to Mopa. The move is expected to be carried out once the international airport is completed.
The cruise ships that currently hold casinos will then be allowed to continue operations on the Mandovi River as tourist attractions.
Currently Goa has a total of five off-shore casinos which are in operation along with several land based casinos which are located next to or near the coastal resorts and hotels. However, under the proposed new gaming amendments, no new offshore casino licenses will be given out to river based casinos. Sources have said that there has been no opposition from the casinos that are currently operating on the Mandovi.
This could be due to the fact that it has been reported that there has already been an agreement between GMR, the company building the Mopa airport and the government for the land surrounding the airport. The Goa government is expected to come out with a new policy concerning these offshore casinos by January 2018 and the Goa Gambling Act is set to be amended because of the policies. Once the amendment is passed, these offshore casinos will then have six months to reply in writing and confirm that they will be shifting their operations to land within four years.
The sanitation of these offshore casinos has become a cause of concern for Goa residents. A report from the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) revealed that the Mandovi has become unsafe to swim and fish in. The casinos have also come under fire for allegations of severe water pollution and failure to submit reports of the sewage and solid waste that are meant for high seas disposal.
The current planned state policy amendments are coming after the Manohar Parrikar led coaliton promised in October that they would have something on the table within a six month time frame. Parrikar said when the coalition made the promise last October, that he was even confident that something could be done before the six months were finished.
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