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India – Goa could yet force offshore casinos on land

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Goa’s five offshore casinos could yet end up on land following a twist that has seen Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai push to relocate casinos in the Mandovi river.

The suggestion follows claims that the casinos are polluting the river and blocking the movement of other vessels. Goa currently has ten onshore casinos. The state governments have been trying to relcoate the casinos out of the Mandovi River for more over three years.

Mr. Sardesai said: “I am of the opinion that the off shore casinos should be shifted out of Mandovi river even at the cost of getting them on the land. In Sikkim, they have allowed the casinos on the land. If Sikkim can do it why can’t we do it? Forcing the off shore casinos to shift in the deep sea is not possible. We have to be practical,” he said.

Adding to the current controversy, the MV Lucky 7 floating casino has been moored on the Mandovi river since the weekend, having got stuck on a sandbar near Miramar beach.
The vessel has only just been approved for operation, having been approved by the High Court of Bombay.

Operators on the river include Delta Corp, Goa Coastal Resorts and Recreation, Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment, Golden Peace Infrastructure and Delta Pleasure. The sixth offshore casino, M V Lucky Seven is licensed to Golden Globe Hotels Private.

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