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Goa: Off-shore casinos get six-month extension till September-end

Goa ports Minister Michael Lobo said that casino industry helps Goa's economy and generates employment. (Representative image) (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint)Premium
Goa ports Minister Michael Lobo said that casino industry helps Goa's economy and generates employment. (Representative image) (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint)

  • Vessels with casinos that are anchored to Mandovi river, can continue their operations for another six months, the Goa government said
  • Earlier, the state government led by late Manohar Parrikar had said that off-shore casinos would be moved out of the river to another location

The Goa government on Wednesday granted an extension of six months to the off-shore casinos operating on Mandovi river in Panaji. Vessels with casinos that are anchored to Mandovi river, can continue their operations for another six months from 31 March to 30 September, the Goa government said. At present there are six off-shore casinos o the Mandovi river.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said the state cabinet has granted the extension for off-shore casinos to remain in Mandovi river till an alternate location is recommended to them.

Earlier, the state government led by late Manohar Parrikar had said that off-shore casinos would be moved out of the river to another location owing to the opposition from locals and NGOs.

Goa ports Minister Michael Lobo said that casino industry helps Goa's economy and generates employment. "We get revenue from the casinos after charging fees for annual renewal of their licence. In addition, we also get revenue in the form of GST from them. Every year the renewal fees is levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration and others," Lobo said earlier.

Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai had mooted the idea of creating an entertainment zone near the upcoming international airport at Mopa in North Goa. He hinted that these casinos can be shifted in that area, according to reports.

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