Goas offshore casinos in troubled waters - Monday 23rd of June 2008

Indias big gaming operator Creative Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of Pan India Network Infravest Pvt Ltd, the promoters of Playwin, recently announced plans to launch "South Asias biggest offshore casino" appropriately named the Maharajah Casino, from Goa.

Creative and Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt Ltd, another major player in the gaming and entertainment industry, which is also in queue for a licence from the Goa government for its Casino Royale, could be in for a rude shock and disappointment.

Besieged by protests over its ill-conceived open door policy on offshore casinos, the Goa government is set for a rethink on licensing new floating casinos here.

“We are going to review the policy and frame rules to regulate the casino business. The matter will be referred to the Cabinet,” Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said.

The Corporation of the City of Panaji earlier this week also passed a resolution to ban new floating casinos from operating in the Mandovi River, which the civic body says falls within its jurisdiction.

Corporation members said they were acting in the public interest after representations from NGOs opposed the promotion of gambling.

So far only two floating casinos have been licensed by the Goa government, the Advani-owned Casino Goa which runs on the luxury yacht Caravela, and Hotel Leela Ventures’ Casino Rio which is still to take off.

Propelled by the notion that Goa stood to rake in huge revenues from casino operations, the Goa government announced an open-door policy in 2006 and was flooded with 20 applications for offshore casinos.

It collected a processing fee of Rs 10 lakh each from six new operators including Highstreet and mining industrialists Salgaocars, and hiked the annual licence fee from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore. But in what is clearly a case of putting the cart before the horse, it did nothing to frame rules to regulate casino operations or to set up infrastructure like jetties.

Even the Caravela which has been running for seven years, is embroiled in a legal tangle with the Goa government over the use of the Fisheries department jetty for its operations.

Hotelier Sunder Advani who is in a joint venture with Casinos Austria told Deccan Herald he would have little choice but to build a new jetty to run Casino Goa if the state government terminates its jetty lease with him.

Fisheries Minister Joaquim Alemao maintains there is place for only one casino vessel to operate at the jetty and said the government was planning to retender it for a new lease.

Other news from around the same time

500 evacuated from casino - Monday 23rd of June 2008

MORE than 500 people were evacuated from Adelaides SkyCity casino after a small fire ignited in a wa....

Casino industry hedges its bets to survive in a changing world - Monday 23rd of June 2008

THEY are associated with style and glamour for those with plenty of cash and an appetite for risk.Bu....

Ladbrokes Loses Dutch Court Ruling Over Online Bets - Monday 23rd of June 2008

Ladbrokes Plc, the worlds largest publicly traded gaming company, cant offer gambling in the Netherl....

Internet betting ‘set to take lion’s share’ - Monday 2nd of June 2008

THE new online head of the region’s biggest independent bookies has confidently predicted the inte....

New casinos prepare to open at Indiana horse tracks - Monday 2nd of June 2008

Two new casinos have each tentatively scheduled openings in the next two weeks. At Hoosier Park in A....

Sharks fin wont be on menu at massive casino resort - Monday 2nd of June 2008

Sharks fin will not be served in the restaurants of a massive casino resort being built on Singapore....

£260m new look for the waterside - Monday 2nd of June 2008

A £260m waterside development including a casino, entertainment, office and living space is to be l....

Settlement of casino case saved country $1.4 billion - officials - Monday 2nd of June 2008

The government has reached the best deal possible with minimal losses in its settlement on the casin....

Gaming firm bets on a sale - Thursday 29th of May 2008

THE leisure group Inspired Gaming, which operates fruit machines and betting terminals, has put itse....

30 years of casino gambling - its still a big deal - Thursday 29th of May 2008

In Massachusetts, the governor is pushing plans to build three resort-style casinos. Kentuckys gover....