The poker scenario in Goa regarding the removal of casino vessels from River Mandovi is never-ending. The state government once again has come up with an alternate location to shift the offshore casinos to a more suitable location at Aguada Bay which was announced by the Port Minister, Michael Lobo, a week ago.
The Captain of Ports (COP) will identify a suitable location at Aguada to relocate offshore casinos. Goa is home for poker admirers in the country. It has been experiencing some of the biggest tournaments so far. Therefore, the government asked the COP to look out for the desired shift.
Lobo stated a week earlier, “An inspection of the proposed location will take place with within three days.” The Chief Minister of the state, Pramod Sawant on Tuesday discussed the subject with the Panaji MLA in a meeting to ensure the advancement of the matter.
Lobo added, “The captain of ports has to identify a location to which the casinos can be shifted; the spot should provide safe access to the tourists who travel to the casinos in feeder boats. We will look into the feasibility by this week.”
The Congress party in opposition already stated their contradiction. This shift is created due to the environmental reasons and native demands. The State Congress Spokesperson, Agnelo Fernandes expressed, “We strongly condemn the state government’s proposal to relocate the offshore casinos in the Mandovi river to the Aguada bay. The area is home to the dolphin species, which will be put at risk if the casinos are shifted there.”
Further, not to be forgotten, the industry contributes more than Rs 400 crore to the state in license fees and around Rs 90 crore per year as state GST. Both the Congress and the BJP have protested ‘against’ and promised to remove the casinos when each were in opposition.
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