The high court of Bombay at Goa was informed by the state government last week that they will issue a jetty or docking facility to Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd (GGHPL). The jetty, expected to be issued any day now, will allow the MV San Domino to dock and take on a temporary casino.
GGHPL has hired out the vessel, which has not sailed since 2009, in order to get casino operations up and running while repairs continue on their dry docked MV Lucky Seven. That vessel ran aground only a week after being commissioned and languished on a sandbar, unable to be towed, from July until October. Four crew members were reportedly airlifted in a helicopter rescue in July, one with injuries and the others with seasickness according to reports at the time.
GGHPL is ultimately controlled by former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda through his MDLR Group. Golden Globe had filed with the Captain of Ports (CoP) for the San Domingo to receive a jetty rather than the Lucky 7 as previously planned.
San Domino has three or four floors dedicated to casino operations and has been awaiting a gambling permit for eight years. Last Wednesday, advocate general Dattaprasad Lawand told justice N M Jamdar that the jetty permit would be issued within a week. Also during the hearing, an affidavit from CoP James Braganza was submitted that read inter alia “the petitioner has applied for allotment of jetty, which will be given to the petitioner”.
Although the court declined please from the company to direct the government to allot a jetty to Lucky 7 in October, in this instance they have acknowledged that it is clear that the government intends to welcome the San Domino and has scheduled a hearing for January 9, 2018, on the application and to ensure compliance.
An unidentified director of MV Lucky Seven told the Times of India: “Our plan is to start operations in the new year, sometime in mid-January 2018, probably after we complete the interiors. We have hired MV San Domino for one year. The vessel already has operating licenses and seaworthiness certificate. All that is left is to refurnish the interiors. Otherwise, the vessel is ready for operations. We already have the staff and casino equipment. We will use the license for this vessel till MV Lucky Seven is repaired,” according to a report by the news outlet.
On an optimistic note for the vessel, which Golden Globe wanted to have in operation in time for the tourist season, which is usually seen as running from November through March, the director reportedly said that Lucky 7 could be ready for operation by the end of February. Earlier reports indicated that a planned drydocking in Dubai was called off due to distance and a slow repair schedule. The ship is most likely under refurbishment at Cochin.
The San Domino was built in 1989 and presents a much more attractive outward appearance than the dilapidated looking Lucky 7 and has passed seaworthiness tests. The ship has an overall length of 68m (223 feet) and a beam of 12m (39.37 ft). Her gross tonnage is 2544 tons.