Local Goa News

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Soon, a sixth casino on the Mandovi

Panaji: There are indications that a sixth offshore casino will get the government nod, if one goes by the statement made by the state government before the high court of Bombay at Goa. Currently there are five off-shore casinos in River Mandovi. The fifth to join the fleet recently was Casino Caravela.
The state government has stated before the high court that it shall favourably consider the application for further renewal of casino licence from the year 2016 in case Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited (GGHPL) deposits the annual recurring fees. GGPHL had approached the court as the fee payable was to the tune of Rs 50 crore.

GGHPL, a subsidiary of former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda's MDLR group's casino, had failed to pay the annual licence fee, according to home department senior officials. In a written reply in the assembly on August 9, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that Golden Globe's offshore casino is not in operation. Initially, the licence was issued to M/s Hotel Leela Ventures and operation was started in 2006. Subsequently, it was transferred to Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited. The area of operation was River Mandovi.
During the hearing before the high court, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners (GGHPL), S G Desai, pointed out that his client accepts the condition imposed by the state government for the renewal of the casino licence, which amount according to him works out to around Rs 50 crore.
Desai further pointed out that the petitioners would pay or deposit the total annual recurring fees with the state government within a period of four weeks from date of the order to enable the state government to take a decision to renew the casino licence from the year 2011 to 2016, and for the further renewal of the casino licence in accordance with the relevant policy of the state government.
Additional advocate general Dattaprasad Lawande, upon instructions, stated, "In case the petitioners deposit the amount so demanded, the state government shall favourably consider the application for further renewal of the casino licence from the year 2016, as well as the substitution of the vessel on the basis of prevailing law, as well as in non-discriminating manner."
Accepting the statement of both the lawyers, the high court disposed of the petition. "Needless to say that the learned counsel do not dispute that the renewal of the casino licence from the year 2016 would be on the assumption that the licence has been renewed from the year 2011, subject to the payment/deposit of the amount referred to hereinabove," division bench comprising justice F M Reis and justice Nutan Sardessai said.
The GGHPL along with Sanket Kandoi had filed the petition seeking a direction to quash and set aside the demand made by the government in respect of annual recurring fees towards the casino licences granted to them.
Petitioners made a representation on April 4, 2016 seeking renewal of casino licence for the years 2011 to 2016 and the state government considered the said representation favourably in favour of the petitioners, subject to the payment of the annual recurring fees for all the five years, from the year 2011 to 2016, with interest thereon.

TOI Goa News

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