Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Goa casinos facing rough political weather

The bad dream of the casinos in Goa does not appear to leave them very soon. On Monday 27th July 2009, the tourism Minister Mr Micky Pacheco informed the legislative assembly that he would seal all illegal activities on five of the six off shore casinos whose No Objection certificates have since expired. The Minister was responding to repeated demands and queries made by the opposition leader Manohar Parrikar who wMANOHAR PARRIKARas asking as to why the government was not putting a stop to casino operations in the state when the NOC's issued by the captain of ports had already expired.

Joining the chorus against the casino operations in Goa were congress MLAs Victoria Fernandes and Mauvin Godinho who demanded a ban on casinos and sought to know how casinos are operating in Goa despite the absence of a casino policy in the state.

Goa casinos NOC expiredIn a reply to Parrikar about the details of when the licences of the casinos had expired, the tourism minister gave an account of the NOC expiry dates as below

Name of Casino                             Date of expiry of NOC

Pride of Goa          -------------   April 3 2009
The Leela             -------------   January 30 2009
Casino Royale        -------------   February 18 2009
San Domino           -------------   May 19 2009
Caravela               -------------   April 18 2009

Mr Pacheco added that the NOC of Arabian Sea King is slated to expire on October 30 2009. In the meanwhile the casino operators expressed their shock over the decision of the tourism minister to the Goa legislative assembly  and blamed the government for delaying the issuance of licences on the ground that the matter was sub judice.

Casino operators indicated that the current stance of the government could adversely affect over 2000 employees working in the casinos and suggested a paycut eventuality on a gradual basis to offset the closure period.

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