Poker players and casino lovers of Andhra Pradesh could soon be wagering at a world class gaming and entertainment facility in Vizag. The AP chief minister has had a vision of setting up a casino in the territory for long, but the plan has been held back due to political hindrances by opposition parties in the state.
Finally, the state government has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with UK’s Eros Investments Limited to open a multi-billion dollar gaming and entertainment center at Vizag. It comes as a good news for all gaming enthusiasts of Andhra Pradesh and surrounding states in 2015. Casino in India has been limited to only Goa, Sikkim and Daman till date out of which Goa draws the majority of players and tourists. It is well known that the government of Goa earns huge revenues in tax amounting over Rs 135 crore from the state casinos.
Eyeing the revenue and that too in form of foreign exchange from the visiting tourists, Andhra Pradesh government had initiated talks with the gaming and casino companies to open their facility in state. Given the typical Indian mind frame about casino and gambling aided by women organizations, moral policing and other such obstacles, CM Naidu couldn’t materialize the idea till date.
With changing proportion in political arena after division of state and formation of Telangana, the current government has been redefining its plans headed by Mr. Naidu himself. Inside sources say the government is planning to set up a Rs 2,000 crore worth entertainment center in the initial phase which will form the foundation of future projects. Many Goa-based casino firms are interested to set up casinos in Vizag once the developments get going in the state. “AP has the best opportunity to become an entertainment hub in the country. Blessed with the longest coastline, all the government needs to do is make use of the coast,” affirms M. Prudhvi, a state architect.
Casino lovers and Indian poker players are definitely looking forward to play in Vizag in coming days but it would be a challenge for Andhra Pradesh government to tackle all the political, social and financial obstacles. Let’s hope for the best in the interest of games and gaming lovers and keep watching this space for further updates on this.