The Press Trust of India has reported that a recent ruling by the Goa government to maintain the level of casino mounted vessels at its present level in the Goa waters has been well received by the off shore casino industry.
The businesses had stated that they needed a 10 year development period with no interference in order to expand and become stable. Some people have viewed the decision by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar as a chance for off shore casinos to expand without internal opposition.
Shrinivas Nayak, speaking on behalf of Casino Pride said that the ruling had been well received as “We required a gestation period of 10 years”. He believed that this action would benefit current off shore casinos in becoming stable.
The off shore casino industry has had a presence in Goa since 1999 but has recently found that cheaper airfares from India to countries such as Macau, Singapore and Malaysia are attracting customers away from Goa. Competition for off shore casinos has also started being faced from Nepal in Sri Lanka, said Nayak.
Yet in the latest budget, Chief Minister Parrikar has angered the industry by increasing taxes. Parrikar, an apparent adversary of off shore casinos, increased the licence fee from Rs 5 crore annually to Rs 6.5 crore. According to Nayak, the government was continuing its position in regard to off shore casinos despite pressure from the industry to reduce the licence fees.