In August 2016, the High Court dealt with a case between the Golden Globe Hotels Private Ltd and the Goa state government. Golden Globe Hotels had requested to renew their offshore casino license, and were being charged back fees of more than 50 crore.
Golden Globe Hotels had requested that the court instruct the government to remove the huge payment incurred by annual licensing fees when the casino was not in operation. After the Goa government representatives made it clear that they would deal with the 2016 license renewal favourably once all previous annual fees and late fines were covered, the court ruled for the state government.
The opposition to opening new casinos, or even allowing a casino with a lapsed licensed to reopen in Goa is strong. Aires Rodrigues, a social activist who speaks out and takes action to prevent casino operations petitioned the court. He asked that the August ruling be reversed.
Rodrigues explained to the court that the information that had been supplied in the case regarding the license renewal left out some important points that had been set out in the Goa governemnt’s affidavit in December 2015. Rodrigues noted that the state government had reached a decision in 2014 that there would be no renewal of any of the expired offshore casino licenses. The Goa government had also stated that there would be no new casino licenses granted.
In addition to this, the government had also announced that it planned to remove the current offshore casinos from the Mandovi River. It was some time since this decision was made, however, since a suitable location has not yet been found, the floating casinos are still located in the Mandovi River.
Rodrigues made it clear that he felt that the decision to renew a license goes against the government’s policy regarding offshore casinos in Goa. He explained that the ruling regarding the license renewal fees should therefore be retracted.
The Goan government has requested time to respond to the petition.