Contrary to several previous assertions by the Goa government under erstwhile Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar as well as current Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, no final decision has been taken so far on shifting offshore casinos to an alternative location or notification of a Goa casino policy.
According to a report in local daily Navhind Times, no alternative site could be zeroed in on shifting offshore casinos from the River Mandovi so far due to strong opposition from all corners.
It was earlier reported that Ports Minister Michael Lobo had given permission to one of the offshore casinos, Deltin Caravela to shift towards the Vernem side of the River Mandovi from the Panjim side, where it is currently located.
The proposal to shift Deltin Caravela and two other offshore casinos to the Vernem side, however met with stiff resistance from opposition leaders and locals.
The Navhind Times report also indicated that the state government is still dithering on its plan to formulate a detailed casino policy to shift offshore casinos to an entertainment zone near the upcoming Mopa airport.
According to Navhind Times sources said the state government has asked the home department to set in motion the process for drafting a casino policy, but not much progress has been made on that front so far.
Chief Minister Sawant as well as previous state cabinets have granted successive six month extensions to offshore casinos to operate in the River Mandovi while giving an assurance that the final long term policy on casinos would be decided by the government in a short time frame.