Expired five-star category certificates have caused two onshore casinos in India to shut down.
On Thursday, the state government of Goa ordered the closure of Grand 7 Casino at O Hotel in the town of Candolim, and the Casino Pearl at the Bogmallo Beach Resort in Bogmallo.
The Times of India reported that the validity of the five-star category certificates for these two hotels have already expired. According to the state home department, licensed operators can only operate games and machines at a hotel that has a valid five-star certification.
According to the order obtained by the media outlet, the casino operators were “directed to stop the casino operations with immediate effect until such time fresh five star classification certificate is produced before the government.”
Raffles Square Development Pvt Ltd operates Grand 7 Casino, while Trade Wings Hotel Limited runs Casino Pearl.
Police have already closed down the Casino Pearl on Thursday, but the home department sent copies of the order to the head of North Goa police as a precaution.
With the closure of Grand 7 Casino and Casino Pearl, only nine onshore casinos remain operational in Goa.
Meanwhile, four offshore casinos are likely to remain in the River Mandovi for the next couple of months while the state government is still finalizing plans for the relocation.
The casinos—Deltin Royale, Deltin Jaqk, Pride of Goa, and Pride of Goa 2—were given a two-year extension in 2013 to enable to make arrangements to move out of River Mandovi.
According to The Times of India, Deltin Royale only have until Aug. 29 to move out of the river, followed by Pride of Goa on Sept. 13, Deltin Jaqk on Oct. 24, and Pride of Goa 2 on Dec. 4.
But a senior government official told the news outlet that the cabinet is about to decide “to extend the time” for the offshore casinos.
The state has already identified four new locations for the casinos: River Chapora, Aguada Bay, and east and west of River Zuari. But officials are still waiting for objections and suggestions from residents and village leaders before making a final decision.