The State Government of Goa is yet to conduct further study on how the environmental will be affected when the off-shore casinos will be shifted from River Mandovi to high seas.
Laxmikant Parsekar, Chief Minister of Goa, recently announced that the study related to shifting of casinos is still in the elementary stage. However, the State Government has made public its plans of shifting the casino-mounted vessels from Mandovi River would begin from September onwards.
Responding to a question tabled by an Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, Parsekar said, “The Government of Goa has entrusted the task to the Captain of Ports Department for exploring the possibilities of relocating all the four off-shore casino vessels. According to the Department of Environment by the Captain of Ports Department, the body has undertaken various inspections and verified several sites within the inland waterways of Goa.” But still the body is yet to single-out the most feasible spot out of the chosen ones- Rivers Chapora, Sal, Zuari and Aguada Bay – for shifting the vessels.
Presently, Goa has four off shore casino vessels in River Mandovi adjacent to capital city of Panaji. According to the earlier media reports, all offshore casinos in Goa had given an undertaking to the Goa Government in 2013 that they would shift out of River Mandovi within 2 years. The Government had renewed the licenses of the offshore casinos for a period of two years based on the undertaking that on the contract completion day, i.e., the day when each vessel completes its license term, the vessel will cease to operate, if they do not move out of River Mandovi. This two-year deadline for Casino Deltin JAQK expires on August 29, followed by Casino Pride Goa on September 12, Casino Pride II on December 3 and Deltin Royale on December 23.
As per this latest news reported by Business Standard, these vessels are not getting moved any soon. The licenses of some of these casinos are expiring soon. On August 29 Casino Deltin JAQK is the first of the 4 casinos whose license will expire.