The only place where live-dealer served gambling is allowed in India is on board casino ships on the Mandovi River in the state of Goa, which attract both tourists and locals on a regular basis. Inland gambling in the state is restricted to electronic table games in places such as Chances Resort in Dona Paula. The Goa government, which belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier confirmed that it would no longer issue new licenses as it wanted to shut down the casino industry.
The vessel MV Caravela was licensed to run a casino but was later cancelled by the government and transferred to another vessel MV Royale Floatel. Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Rohan Khaunte questioned the actions of the Goa government. In a statement, Khaunte said “How can the licence be transferred when it was cancelled? All licences that expire after 2014 were not supposed to be renewed. The licence for Floatel was renewed through corrigendum”. [a thing to be corrected, typically an error in a printed book]
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today told the Assembly that the ship will not be allowed to become a casino.
In more Indian politics in regard to casinos-
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a right wing non-governmental party that have a huge say in how the BJP runs its government. Before the BJP came to power in 2014, they ran a huge campaign to ban all forms of gambling including putting a stop to Goa’s offshore casinos.
Goa’s Chief Minister who is from the BJP has not kept those promises after coming to power and along with his party candidates is more open to the idea of allowing the casino industry to thrive in an effort to encourage foreign investment. BJP legislator Kiran Kandolkar recently spoke out in the state assembly saying that casino industry generated around 80 crore Indian rupees on an annual basis. He was quoted in India Today as saying, “All salaries of the MLAs come from that [casino revenue]. Are you saying we do not get revenue? Where do you get your salary from?”