The extension was approved from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021
On Wednesday, The Goa state cabinet granted floating casinos another six months’ extension to continue operations in Mandovi River, between Panaji and Betim, as it is yet unable to resolve any alternative location where they can be transferred.
A cabinet note said that the home department, along with captain of ports, had tentatively identified four sites for their relocation — the mouth of Mandovi, near Aguada jail, two locations on the Zuari, and in the Chapora.
In line with this, the government said that the identified sites found were to be “technically not feasible”, the issue of relocating them from the Mandovi could not be finalised.
This has led the state government to grant extensions to the six casinos to continue their operations in Mandovi over the past couple of years, subject to the condition that they shall shift out whenever a feasible alternate site is finalised by the government.
The note also stated that objections had been sought from the public on the proposed sites, and that several were received from various individuals and village panchayats, in favor of the move of the offshore casinos.
Back in February, Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo had argued for an opposite approach, calling for the offshore casinos to remain where they are and for additional casinos to be licensed in other areas, as a tourism and revenue boosting measure.
Sawant ordered the suspension operations of all of Goa’s casinos – both the six ship-board operations and the handful of land-based venues in upscale hotels - in mid-March to combat the proliferation of COVID-19. Although he has permitted a partial easing in April 20.
India’s largest casino operator Delta Corp - which operates three casino vessels in Goa - saw its revenue and profit slide for the three months ending 31 March, the fourth quarter of its fiscal year.
In May, the company reported that revenue was down 10 percent year-on-year to INR1.91bn ($25.3m) during the quarter, while pre-tax profits fell 49 percent to INR290.4m.
SiGMA Group Americas Digital Summit is running from the 22nd to 24th September, bringing well-known faces from the Latin American gaming and tech sector to a series of in-depth debate panels, with content offered in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
The 7th edition of SiGMA Europe will move its November event to February 16th to 18th 2021.