The status of Goa’s river casinos remains in limbo, and that will likely continue for some time until the state government makes up its mind.
Last August, the Goa cabinet decided to extend the deadline of the state’s four offshore casinos—Deltin Royale, Deltin Jaqk, Pride of Goa, and Pride of Goa 2—for another six months or until the end of March to find a new location and move out of River Mandovi.
But with only a few weeks left into the deadline, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar admitted the government hasn’t made a decision yet on the fate of the offshore casinos. In an interview with The Indian Express, Parsekar said: “As of now we have not been able to scout for a suitable location.”
In addition, the chief minister said they are also waiting for the casino operators to contact them since “only after which the decision can be taken.”
Still, Parsekar promised that the Bharatiya Janata Party will make sure that the offshore casinos will move out of River Mandovi.
In a separate interview with the Times of India, the chief minister said: “We don’t want to send wrong signals among the investors, but we will move the casinos out of River Mandovi.”
The state had already identified four new locations for the casinos: River Chapora, Aguada Bay, and east and west of River Zuari. But Goa officials also want to hear the residents and village leaders’ opinions before making a decision.
According to the Times of India report, the state home department had received a total of 2,500 objections and suggestions—about 2,450 of them were from casino employees who opposed moving the casinos from River Mandovi.
A person close to the casino operators told The Indian Express that the vessels already scouted an area far from the river, only to learn that the water was too unsteady that “it affected the business operations and therefore abandoned.”