The Chief Minister for Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar, has revealed that he is unaware of any specific proposal to relocate the small Indian state’s five floating casinos from their current homes on the Mandovi River to an area in Chicalim Bay.
According to a report from The Navhind Times newspaper, Parsekar stated that his government has no issues with moving the casinos presently anchored in the Mandovi River but was ignorant of a proposal allegedly made last week by local entrepreneur Gayatriraje Chowgule.
“I am not aware of any such proposal that is related to the relocation of offshore casinos to Chicalim Bay and there is no such issue that has come up before the government,” said Parsekar.
Parsekar from the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party announced soon after being appointed in November of 2014 that he intended to relocate the floating casinos due to public pressure. However, these moves have been delayed due to an inability to locate suitable sites while the government controversially renewed the venues’ licenses in the interim.
Chowgule stepped into the debate last week by offering a stretch of family-owned land along the shores of the Zuari River and Chicalim Bay that had reportedly already been surveyed and found suitable. She stated to World Casino News that, “My waterfront area is 376736.8 sq ft featuring 984 foot stretch of river bank and has previously been used for repairing ships,” in a comment that can be seen below this article.
“We are not hosting the casinos as it has been perceived but are only facilitating the government and have only proposed a site,” said Chowgule, who claims to have briefed Parsekar about her plan in February. “It is for the government to take a decision if it is feasible to do so. I know I have walked into the lion’s mouth but it is for the government to curb the “bad side”. My proposal is only keeping in mind that the government has been in search of a site to relocate the casino vessels and this site would not be proposed by the government.”
Faced with growing opposition to this particular plan, Parsekar additionally declared that the proposal to relocate the state’s ship-based casinos to Chicalim Bay had been dreamed up by media with his government having no role to play.
This article has been updated to reflect a direct quote from Gayatri Raje Chowgule in regard to the area of land mentioned.