The Goa government has announced that the offshore casinos have received an extension on their relocation dates. The new date has been extended to 31st March 2016, when the Goa offshore casinos will have to relocate to another location, leaving the Mandovi River.
The original relocation dates that had been announced by the BJP government were different for each vessel. Each casino had been ordered to move when their licenses were due for renewal. MV Horse Shoe’s license ended on 29th August, the MV Pride of Goa’s license expires on 12th September, the MV Casino Royale’s license expires on 23rd October, and the MV Boa Sorte’s license expires on 3rd December.
The Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar, told reporters: “The cabinet resolved to grant extensions to offshore casinos to relocate themselves by March 31, 2016 or until an alternate site is finalized by the government, whichever is earlier. In the next four months, all the licenses would expire.”
The government has agreed to renew the licenses of the four offshore casinos, however, this extension will not affect the final 31st March date. The casinos will only be allowed to operated in the Mandovi River until the extended deadline. After this time, they may no longer operate in this location.
The government has plans to provide an alternate location for the offshore casinos. As explained by Chief Minister Parsekar, the “government is committed to move the vessels” because it is important to retain integrity to maintain “investors’ confidence.” Ensuring that the casinos are appropriately relocated is important as it will have an impact on potential investments.
The Chief Minister noted that closing down the casinos would affect both revenue flow and harm employment opportunities for locals. The Captain of Ports has been instructed to look for suitable locations for the offshore casinos. He said that the casinos would not be asked to relocate to the deep sea.