Will TTAG Convince the Government to Lower Casino Licensing Fees?

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, also known as TTAG, has requested that the licensing fees that are levied on land based casinos in Goa should be substantially reduced.

The request to reduce the land based casino licensing fees comes after there had been a rather large hike in the annual fees for casinos last year. This huge hike in fees on land based casinos put a number of casinos out of business in the past year. TTAG has demanded this reduction of fees in its pre-budget memorandum.

The pre-budget memorandum not only suggested a reduction in the licensing fees, but also came with a number of other suggestions, and also explanations of the hardships incurred because of the increased land based casino fees. The president of TTAG, Francisco de Braganca, noted in the memorandum that there have been starred hotels that have invested much money into land based casinos, and that the hotels have suffered when the licensing fees went up from around 10 to 12 lakh to the huge amount of 2.5 crore. Francisco de Braganca noted: “This injustice needs to be corrected.” He also noted that these casinos are frequented by tourists.

In the memorandum, TTAG also demanded that thre should be a law passed that a minimum of 80% of the casino employees should be from Goa. TTAG noted in the memorandum: “We are at the moment more expensive than our competitors on account of heavy taxation arising from local and central taxes. The advent of service tax has to be compensated by reduction in local taxes.”

The memorandum made a number of suggestions as to how the government could reduce various taxes in order to help the hotels and casinos be more competitive in the Indian market. One such suggestions was to reduce the luxury tax that is imposed on the various classes of hotels in India.