The floating casinos in the Indian state of Goa received clearance to restart operations since pandemic lockdown. The CCP or Corporation of the City of Panaji had already provided in-principal approval for the renewal of the trade licenses of the offshore casinos.
The floating boats are currently docked at the Mandovi River. The final approval could come on November 11 at the next council meeting.
Uday Madkaikar, Panjim mayor, said casino operators need to reapply for their licenses. This approval would be good enough for the current financial year and the period ends on March 31, 2021. The fees would contribute to the city’s operating budget.
This is a quite different view from CCP than a year before.
Last year, CCP unanimously voted against the renewal of the trade licenses. The decisions came after locals complained about the disruption caused by the casinos.
However, Madkaikar, said that now there is no nightlife in the city. He said people from restaurants, hotels, and taxi operators almost pleaded with him to open the casinos. Well, the legal experts have another view. They say that no renewal would have dragged the city to the court and that could have been lost huge loss for the city.
However, there are a few changes that the casinos need to do. The roads leading up to the floating casinos need to be rezoned. There has to be ‘no parking zone’, ‘no stopping zone’ etc. In fact, a private towing firm needs to be appointed to implement the orders as well.
The licenses of the casinos ended on Mach 31st and it coincided with the shutdown orders due to the pandemic. Last week, the casinos were told that they would be able to resume operations from November 1.
However, the state government has not really authorized any casino actually operating so far.