The Goa State Government led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has finally granted another 6-month extension to the offshore casinos to continue operating in the River Mandovi. The extension is valid from March 31 to September 30. It is no secret that the casinos are a big revenue generator for the government. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant revealed that in the last nine years, generated Rs 785,52,97,280 to State revenue while contribution of onshore casinos was Rs 491,76,56,198 till January 20, 2021 which combined to the tune of over ₹1277 Cr.
However, with the opposition and the locals wanting the casinos to be moved to the land allocated to MOPA Greenfield International Airport in North Goa. Amidst the consideration, it has now been decided to grant an extension of further six months. Goa Ports Minister, Michael Lobo had said earlier that, “We get revenue from the casinos after charging fees for annual renewal of their licence. In addition, we also get revenue in the form of GST from them. Every year the renewal fees are levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration and others.“
Also, it must be noted that last month, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced that locals will not be allowed to enter casinos and subsequently, the Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax, who is acting as the gaming commissioner, implemented the ban from February 1.