The Indian state of Goa is well on its way to issue its new casino policy next year, as the said framework is currently in its draft state. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar stated this Thursday that the Goa Gambling Act is going to be amended following the official issuing of the new casino policy. This is expected to result in a limit of the number of vessels which can receive licenses for operation as no new ones will be issued such.
Mr. Parrikar claimed that the process of drafting the new gambling policy of the state is completed and the year of 2018 is expected to witness its official launch. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in the state has been working on the new policy for quite some time now and this new legislation is being done with the aim to protect the casino industry and provide a reliable framework for operation. The new policy is going to shift offshore casino venues out of the River Mandovi and this is going to happen in a well-defined time frame, as to create a seamless transition.
At the moment the region has a total of five offshore casinos which are in operation, as well as more than half dozen onshore casino locations which are adjacent to the numerous five-stars resorts in the coastal regions. For many years now the Opposition has shot accusations at the BJP that it is being cozy with the casino industry but all accusations were denied promptly. It has claimed that some of the currently operating casino venues have been given casino license while an erstwhile Congress regime was in progress.
Aims of the New Casino Policy
As it was stated by the Chief Minister, the new policy is going to lay guidelines for operation, but this could not mean that all aspects will be altered or affected by it. Many casino venues currently operating from the Mandovi are going to be relocated. The said casino policy providing framework also featured a provision for a gaming commissioner which to regulate the gambling field in the state of Goa.
The whole process of drafting and issuing a new policy of the gaming field is part of a well-structured plan which was announced several months ago and so far the process has been going according to the set time frame. Back in September, Mr. Parrikar announced their plans to come up with a main policy to relocate the said casino venues, following one of the several meetings of the cabinet.
The policy was scheduled to be announced in December, which means that it is all going according to the schedule. The beginning of 2018 is going to see the official issuing of the new policy and up until then, the new framework will be thoroughly discussed among the colleagues of his cabinet. Even though the issue has been part of such discussions for the last two years now, the previous BJP-led government did not manage to make a step in the right direction.