From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji
Panaji, May 17: The off shore casino industry has welcomed Goa government’s decision not to allow any more casino mounted vessels in the state’s water.
The industry has said that they require gestation period of at least 10 years to stabilize and grow in the business, without any hindrance.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s move has been perceived as an opportunity for the industry to grow without facing competition within.
“The decision is welcomed by the industry. We required gestation period of 10 years,” said Shrinivas Nayak, representative of Casino Pride. He said that the move will help existing off shore casinos to stabilize in their business.
The industry, which set its foot in the state’s waters since the year 1999, has been facing competition from destinations like Macau, Singapore and Malaysia, where flight rates are cheaper.
“People from India go to these destination as flying there is cheaper then coming to Goa,” Nayak said adding that Sri Lanka is also emerging as a destination for off shore casinos, which can eat into Goa’s business.
“Nepal is also coming back in the market,” he pointed out.
Parrikar, who was perceived as an opponent for off shore casino industry, has taxed the industry during his recent budget. The licence fee for off shore casino has been increased from Rs 5 crore annually to Rs 6.5 crore, the move which evoked strong resentment from the industry.