Panjim’s new MLA Atanasio Monserrate has called to ban all the six floating casinos operating off the shores of the Mandovi river.
During the recent elections, Goa’s offshore casinos had been one such issue which was addressed by all political parties. Earlier BJP state unit president had called for banning the six offshore casinos in Goa.
While the Congress legislator has called for banning the casinos, there is not much response from the Goa’s chief minister.
It is not the first time the demands for banning GOA casino has been brought up by a legislator; however, it is unlikely that the casinos could be removed.
Talking to a local media house, Narinder Punj, a representative for Big Daddy casino, said: “If the government comes up with something concrete with regard to our location and gives us licences for live gaming, we don’t have a problem shifting. But it will not be easy because the new location will have to be developed. Here in Panaji, we are right between the northern and southern part of Goa and have a captive tourist market. That would have to be re-built all over again at a new venue.”
Responding to the questions of banning Goa’s offshore casinos, the state chief minister Pramod Sawant said: “We can’t tell those who have invested in the state to get up and go. We will have to decide on a policy, else in future, investors will not come to Goa. We will definitely shift the casinos once the casino policy is finalized and a gaming zone declared. But till then, we cannot provide a time-frame.”