PANAJI : The Panaji civic body on Monday decided not to renew trade licences of the half a dozen off- shore casinos operating in the river Mandovi here at the end of their current term, a move that will force them to shift out of jurisdiction of the state capital.

The Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) took this decision at a meeting here.

Mayor Uday Madkaikar said it was decided not to renew the trade licences of the off-shore casinos anchored in the Mandovi, which will force them to move out of jurisdiction of Panaji.

Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte, who wields influence over CCP, had assured to shift the off-shore casinos out of Panaji in run-up to the assembly by-election held in May.

Monserratte had won the assembly bypoll from Panaji on a Congress ticket and later joined the ruling BJP.

Madkaikar said the trade licences of off-shore casinos have already been renewed for the current financial year, but once their validity expires, their permits will not be extended.

At present, six off-shore casinos are anchored in the Mandovi.

The Goa government has allowed these casinos, a tourist attraction, to continue their operations in the river till March 2020.

There has been a demand from a section of people to shift the vessels from the river.

Late last month, Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo had said his department will conduct a study to assess the feasibility of relocating the casinos to Aguada side of the river.

In early September, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said casinos are an important aspect of tourism in the state as they attract visitors.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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