After long deliberation that has existed since the Manohar Parikar government, the current state government, led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, has decided to grant a six-month extension to the six off-shore casinos operating at the Mandovi river in Goa. The extension is valid from March 31 to September 30.
As a matter of fact, the casinos are a big revenue generator for the local government, with the Chief Minister revealing last month that offshore casinos, in the last nine years, generated Rs 785,52,97,280 to State revenue while contribution of onshore casinos was Rs 491,76,56,198 till January 20, 2021 which combined to the tune of over ₹1277 Cr.
However, with opposition and locals opposing the casinos operating at the river, they were mooting to move them to the land allocated to MOPA Greenfield International Airport in North Goa. Amidst the consideration, it has now been decided to grant an extension of further six months.
"We get revenue from the casinos after charging fees for annual renewal of their licence. In addition, we also get revenue in the form of GST from them. Every year the renewal fees is levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration and others," Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo said earlier.
It must be noted that Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had announced last month that the locals of the state would not be allowed inside the casinos in Goa and subsequently, the Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax, who is acting as the gaming commissioner, implemented the ban from February 1.