Panaji Corporation Renews Trade Licences on Offshore Casinos
The U-turn for offshore Casinos
In early November the Panaji corporation of the city of Panaji confirmed that it had extended trade licences for offshore casinos in Madovi. They requested that fresh applications are submitted.
The mayor of Panaji Uday Madkaikar’s announcement contradicts what was said 3 months prior. Originally there was a firm stance not to renew such licences. The promise was that such casinos would be moved out of Mandovi within 100 days after having won the election in 2019.
These changes came to light due to the covid pandemic. Hoteliers, restaurant owners and rickshaw drivers met with the representative from CCP. The main points raised were that they already faced no business due to the pandemic.
When Madkaikar was asked that casino operators could start operating without a licence, until such renewals were reviewed, he added that they were not operating from their offices. He added that for small businesses and casino operators, fines would be imposed if abuse is found.
Asked about the original promise he made about such offshore casinos, Madkaikar reassured that such casinos will eventually get out of Madovi.
“We will follow up with the captain of ports and ports minster Michael Lobo who gave assurance that he would shift two casinos out of here. The two casinos were ready, but there was opposition from the people. A follow up will be done with them. We don’t want the casinos. We have not retracted our stand on this”, he was quoted saying. He further defended the cooperation by mentioning he increased the casino fees to Rs 52 lakh.