PANAJI: The State Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to grant six-month extension to six off-shore casinos for relocating from river Mandovi to an alternate feasible site. These off-shore casinos will now get time up to September 30 this year to relocate their vessels.
"The Council of Ministers resolved to grant ex-post facto approval for extension of time limit to the off-shore casinos licencees for relocating their casinos from river Mandovi for a further period of six months from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 or till an alternate feasible site is finalised by the government whichever is earlier," said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
These six off-shore casino vessels are M V Horseshoe Casino, M V Pride of Goa, M V Casino Royale, M V Argosy IV, M V Royale Flotel and M V Lucky 7.
Earlier, in September last year, the State Cabinet had granted them six-month extension to relocate them from river Mandovi even as there had been demand from the opposition parties as well as civil society groups to relocate them from river Mandovi.
In 2013, the Goa government had taken a policy decision to relocate the off-shore casinos located in the river Mandovi. The Home department along with Captain of Ports had identified four sites for the purpose of relocating the offshore casinos from river Mandovi - at the mouth of river Mandovi, near Aguada jail, two locations in the river Zuari east the bridge and west of the bridge and in river Chapora. Incidentally, the license issued under the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act,1976 to M V for Horseshoe Casino expired in August 2018 and renewal process of the same is under process.
The licence of one of the off-shore vessels is valid till 2021 while the licences of four vessels expire in 2023.
According to Ports Minister Michael Lobo, one of the off-shore vessel operator had agreed to relocate his vessel from river Mandovi but he was yet to do so.