Even if the Indian state of Goa hasn’t yet figured out where to put its floating casinos, it is getting one more land-based casino.
The Times of India reported this week, that Goa’s state government had permitted a new casino for the Fern Kadamba Hotel and Spa, a five-star location in Panjim, Old Goa. The addition will supposedly bring the state’s total number of land-based gaming venues in expensive hotels to nine.
As reported by calvinayre.com, the casino will offer just electronic gambling options in line with local regulations, as live gaming tables are limited to the state’s six floating casinos. The Kadamba venue, a 300-square-meter site with a capacity of 100, will supposedly offer 17 electronic card tables, four electronic roulette tables, five slot machines and a money wheel.
Goa’s floating casinos have been always a cause of trouble for the local government, primarily due to its inability to settle on a more desirable temporary mooring point on the Mandovi River and problems in advancing a plan for a permanent land-based gaming area to which the casinos have been informed they will ultimately be forced to relocate.
Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo showed a defiant attitude this week, saying not only should the floating casinos remain on the Mandovi, more floating casinos should be allowed for other rivers in the state. Lobo’s public petitioning for more casinos is based on his perception that the gaming industry has been a benefit to the state treasury and offered decent-paying jobs for numerous local residents.
This is simply the newest contrarian stance Lobo has staked out, having earlier spoken out against the latest ban on local residents entering casinos. Lobo has also supported the legalization of matka, a type of lottery which is extremely popular with the locals despite its illicitness.
Lobo’s attitude resulted in instant pushback by local members of the Congress party, who said Lobo’s reigning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was unable to honor its promise to resolve Goa’s floating casino problem. Congress said it would perform rallies to remind the people of the BJP’s deficiencies and to press for “removing the offshore vessels.”