The off-shore casino industry can breathe a sigh of relief as the relocation deadline for casino operators on the Mandovi River in Goa, India has been extended by the government to March 31 of next year.
The extension approved by the State cabinet will allow more time for the process of finalizing sites for the relocation of offshore casinos. The announcement is in keeping with the former state government’s agreement to renew the licenses up until 2018 with the understanding that they would have to relocate within two years of their renewal dates. The present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s state cabinet restricted the number of offshore casino’s to five in March of 2014, and made those licenses that were to expire on or before March 31, 2014 eligible for consideration for a two year extension enabling them to make alternative arrangement out of the Mandovi River.
The first of Goa’s four off shore casino vessel licenses to expire is the Delta Corp Ltd owned, Deltin Royale, which expires today.
In a statement to reporters, Laxmikant Parsekar, the Chief Minister of Goa, said, “The cabinet resolved to grant extension to off shore casinos to relocate themselves till March 31, 2016 or till alternate site is finalized by government, whichever is earlier.” He added that the other three vessels licenses would expire within the next four months, those include the Deltin JAQK, Pride of Goa and Pride of Goa 2.
The deadline to submit objections was yesterday, and the state government received several objections from citizens regarding the four locations that were identified by the Captain of Ports as possible sites for the offshore casinos.
Three of the offshore casinos in Goa are owned by Delta Corp., one of which is the Deltin Royale, which is India’s largest live offshore gaming vessel according to the Delta Group. The four-level casino provides dining and entertainment in addition to its 1500 gaming positions, and features India’s largest dedicated poker room, the Royale Poker Room.