Ports minister suggests introduction of more casino vessels in Goa
In recent years, Goa has emerged as a leading tourism destination and there has been a gradual rise in the casino industry in the coastal state which is a significant source of revenue. Despite the rising popularity, the industry has been undergoing political heat and opposition.
Ports Minister of Goa, Michael Lobo said that the offshore casinos should not be shifted out of Mandovi River and indicated that more such vessels should be introduced in other rivers of the state. Lobo’s statement comes after the BJP-led government ensured that offshore casinos will be relocated from the Mandovi after facing resistance from the natives.
Moving of ships to an alternate site has been an ongoing matter in Goa and a more suitable location at Aguada Bay was announced by Lobo in October 2019. He further added that the Captain of Ports (COP) will identify a suitable location at Aguada to relocate offshore casinos.
"I still remember our former chief minister Manohar Parrikar saying that the state is not dependent on the money collected (as taxes) from casinos. But I am saying opposite to it," said Lobo who realizes that the industry generates employment and helps Goa’s economy. The casino facilitates revenues in the form of GST and charges fees from them for their annual renewal of licence. “Every year the renewal fees are levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration and others," he said.
The Ports Minister was not in favour of shifting of casinos to Mopa Airport in North Goa district. "Mopa can be a different set up all together, we can have a live gaming zone there. But in my opinion, the casinos should continue in the Mandovi river."
Right now, six offshore casinos are operating in Mandovi River. Lobo suggests that more casinos should be launched in Chapora River in North Goa and Zuari River, South Goa. These vessels provide employment to over 400 people and certainly, the industry cannot be stopped overnight. Additionally, the establishment of casinos in these rivers will revive the economy of the state. For the latest updates on Goa and poker industry news, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!
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