Local Goa News

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fifth casino gets okay to operate in Mandovi

Deltin Caravela will join the four other vessels in the river; government had assured not to permit more floating casinos

PANJIM: The government is courting controversy yet again. This time it is doing so by granting a licence to Delta Corp’s wholly owned subsidiary – Delta Pleasure Cruise Company – to operate its vessel ‘MV Royale Flotel - Deltin Caravela’ in the Mandovi River. This makes it a fifth offshore casino in River Mandovi.
The company was last year given a licence to operate a casino at its hotel ‘Deltin Suites’.
Earlier, Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, who had exposed the alleged illegal licence granted to the fifth casino in River Mandovi in the Legislative Assembly had also slammed the government for granting operational permission to the floatel in complete violation of the law.
“The licence granted to the floatel is a transfer licence of M V Caravela, which had expired in December, 2014. As per a cabinet decision of 2013, the government had made it clear that no permission would be granted to casino vessels whose licence expires after March 31, 2014. The government had assured on the floor of the House that no new casinos would be permitted but in yet another U-turn, they have allowed the floatel,” he was recently quoted as saying.
No officials were available for comments till late Tuesday night.
The Laxmikant Parsekar government had allowed offshore casinos to continue operations in River Mandovi for one year notwithstanding angry protests by locals and activists.
The protesters had accused the government of U-turns to ensure offshore casinos continue to operate in Goan waters. The State even failed to live up to its self-imposed deadline to relocate casinos to an alternative destination by March 31, 2016. The vessels were granted another year’s extension citing that none of the four proposed sites were found to be feasible. The captain of ports was then directed to undertake a fresh study to finalise a spot to shift the casinos. Parsekar is on record stating that it was not proper to abruptly cancel casino licences as it would send a wrong signal to investors.
Four offshore casinos Motor Vessel (MV) Pride of Goa or Casino Pride, MV Horseshoe (Deltin Royale Casino), MV Boa Sorte (Casino Pride 2) and MV Casino Royale (Deltin JAQK) are also operating in River Mandovi.

Herald Goa News

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