Federal laws have always proved a sticking point when it comes to casinos on Indian soil, but the people of Goa have smartly circumvented the law….by simply avoiding soil altogether. The floating casinos of Goa are essentially anchored cruise ships, and offer a safe haven for poker players and gambling enthusiasts to enjoy playing their favoured games. The legal situation though, is beginning to become a little unstable.
Offshore casinos have one year to relocate
Having operated in the middle of the Mandovi river for quite some time, a statement was released a little over a week ago, informing the casinos that they had to drop anchor elsewhere. Chief Minister in Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar made the announcement, which applies to all four floating casinos in the area. There will be adequate time for the casinos to seek other arrangements however, with the Chief Minister giving them until 31st of March 2017 to comply. Parsekar would like to see the relocation take place sooner – provided that suitable new locations can be found. Currently, the four new locations that have been scouted all either have potential problems, or opposition from local people.
A floating Casino in Goa
Mainland casinos as an alternative?
Parsekar has hinted that alternatives may not necessarily have to be of the floating variety, as the prospect of land based casinos has previously been put forward by ex Chief Minister, and now Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. He may no longer be Chief Minister, but Parrikar would certainly be a strong voice to put forward the case once more, with Director of Casino Pride, Shrinivas Nayak reacting positively to the possibility. He did temper his optimism with the assertion that it would require great expenditure if the plans were to go ahead, and he hoped the government would provide financial guarantees– but it seems that negotiations could prove fruitful. Nayak stated his concerns as follows: “We have invested huge amounts in the vessels and if we are told to shift, we will do it but what about the vessels? We will re-incur investment costs for onshore casinos and the government will have to ensure security to our investment.”