New Goa Government to Make Casino Licensing Decision

The Chief Minister of Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar, has announced that he will not make the decision regarding the licensing of the sixth floating casino. The Goa elections have been filled with promises to remove or discourage casinos in the state.

Parsekar announced that the new government should make the decision regarding the license for the Golden Globe Hotels Private Ltd’s floating casino, the M/S Hotel Leela Ventures. The casino had been issued an operating license for the Mandovi River in 2006. While the casino owners have been trying to get their license renewed, there had been some delays.

The floating Hotel Leela was transferred to Golden Globe Hotels, with the agreement that the new operator would catch up the casino’s licensing fees that had not been paid for the time period between 2011 and 2016. The Goan government, however, did not make the decision to renew the offshore casino’s license even though the annual fees had been covered for the last five years.

The operator took the case to the Bombay High Court in an attempt to get the government of Goa to give the casino mooring permission, and to have their change-of-use petition authorized. The case went to court in January, and while the court did not make a decision, it had instructed the government of Goa to make a decision within four weeks.

The four-week time period has ended, however, Parsekar noted that the decision should be made by the new government since elections had already taken place. He said: “Let the new government, which would be formed after 11th March, take a decision.”

The casino operator had clearly hoped that Parsekar would agree to the license renewal since he had considered doing so once the vessel’s back fees and penalties had been paid. Parsekar, however, appears to have had enough of making casino-related decisions, and has decided that the new government should take the responsibility for this.