India has been rather conservative in its approach to legalizing casinos and only Sikkim, Daman and Goa currently permit casinos to operate. There has been a proposal to construct a casino in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and it appears likely that the proposal will get approval in the near future.
There are currently both Indian and foreign firms who are interested in investing into Andhra Pradesh and building the first casino in the area. If the casino does get approval, then it will create a number of employment opportunities for the locals during the construction phase and then permanent jobs once the casino goes live. The casino will also be a huge tourist attraction as there are no casinos located in South India and it will become a top tourist destination for South Indians who are looking to venture into their first casino.
Andhra Pradesh is currently facing economic issues and the proposed casino will help bring in more revenue for the government. There are a two casino operators from Goa and one from Malaysia who are currently in talks with the Andhra Pradesh government to see if they will be selected to construct a casino. The proposed casino will offer a number of entertainment facilities along with popular table games and liquor. Initial research suggest that the government will earn close to 300 crore rupees from the casino.
In a statement, Maruthi Sanker, Managing Director of a Hyderabad based IT firm 7Seas Technologies said “It could be a right move at the right time as it gives an international character to the city and associated tourist segments. Corporates will be much interested in the business. The potential tourism traffic from Asia, which is otherwise Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore bound, can be attracted to Visakhapatnam”.
Visakhapatnam has a wonderful coastline and the casino will most likely be located near the coast and will encourage domestic tourists to visit the casino and enjoy a beach and gaming themed holiday. Andhra Pradesh is encouraging businesses to set up water skiing, snorkelling, hovercraft, scuba diving and wind surfing to bring in more tourists and is offering businesses a 20% investment subsidy on all water based infrastructure costs.
The Andhra Pradesh government appears to be in favour of approving its first casino but there is bound to be a lot of opposition from parties such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who are known to be extremely conservative and against the licensing of casinos in India.