The new Goa government introduced a new annual state budget that will see Goa’s land-based and floating casinos face increased fees in 2017, according to local media outlets. The latest increase marks the third consecutive year casino fees were raised in the country, and the fee hike includes both annual recurring fees and license transfer fees.
As was the case thus far, the floating casinos in Goa will be mandated to pay different sums according to their passenger capacities. Thus, casino ships with capacities of up to 200 guests will now have to pay annual fees of Rs 100 million, or Rs 1.5 million more than the previous year, ships with 200-400 passengers will face a Rs 110 million annual fee, and larger ships will have to pay Rs 120 million, while all categories will be required to cover a new and doubled license transfer fee of Rs 200 million.
In the land-based sector, casinos will be facing Rs 5 million higher annual recurring fees per their size, with any casinos less than 100 square meters in size now required to pay Rs 40 million, while the largest casinos will have to pay Rs 70 million. On top of the annual fees, onshore casinos are also required to pay annual renewal fees of Rs 3 million and Rs 100 million license transfer fees.
Apart from the new fees, Goa’s five offshore casinos were also given another 6-month extension to relocate from the Mandavi river to a new permanent location. This is the third extension in a row the floating casinos have received, after the first extension from April 2015 was prolonged with another one-year extension set to expire this March 31st. Yet, despite the extensions, the casinos are still not close to finding a new ground to move into, even though they have been facing continuous pressure from political parties and other local communities.