It looks like the CCP is not in the mood to renew the trade licenses of 3 Casinos as the Mayor of CCP has stated that the proposal of the renewal had been kept on hold by him since he and his leader and Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate stand by their promise made to the people of Panaji of not renewing the licenses of casinos unless they shift from Mandovi.
According to the reports, 3 amongst the 6 offshore casinos floating in River Mandovi has applied for the renewal of their trade licenses but the CCP Mayor Uday Madkaikar said that their applications have been kept on hold and that a decision to renew their licenses would be taken later.
According to the Sources, CCP makes around 56 lakh revenue in the trade license fees from the 6 Offshore Casinos floating in the Mandovi River and if they do not renew the licenses of the 3 who applied for it, they tend to lose 25 Lakhs in the form of revenue for CCP, but Mayor does not mind losing the revenue as they are more inclined towards the promise they made to the residents of Panaji constituency.
“CCP has kept the applications on hold, but in the current situation, local businessmen and tourist taxi operators had come to us and told us that if casinos are closed down, they would have no business,” said Madkaikar. He said that he would consult all stakeholders before taking a decision.
It may be recalled that the former Taleigao MLA and present minister in BJP cabinet Babush Monserrate had made a promise to Panajikars that he will remove the Casinos from River Mandovi within 100 days of winning the 2019 Panaji by-election. However, since then, he has reneged on his promise.
“The MLA is firm that the casinos’ trade licenses should not be renewed,” Madkaikar said. “But we also have to also consider the situation. We can’t just decide not to renew their trade licences.”
The statement made by the CCP Mayor seems to be contradictory and he seems to be not sure as which side to look and hence he is keeping all his options open before the people and media.
Goa has 6 offshore Casinos and more than dozens of Onshore casinos and all of them were shut down due to COVID Pandemic. These 6 casinos belong to 3 companies mainly Delta Group, Pride Group and Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited and all of them are moored in the River Mandovi.
The CCP had passed a resolution in the month of October 2019 to not to renew the licenses of the offshore Casinos due to the parking and traffic nuisance created by them. “The problem was that guests used to park anywhere blocking the roads and that is why people were getting troubled. There was haphazard parking,” Madkaikar told The Media adding that the government should shift one casino per month from the Mandovi.
According to the reports, the CCP is facing a huge cash deficit due to loss in the revenue and they had proposed the increase in tax on offshore casinos to cover the 11 crore of the deficit by increasing the fees. “Goa is a tourist spot. If tourism is not there business will shut. Some 35 applications have come to us for cancellation of trade licenses as businesses were hit due to COVID,” the mayor said. He went to say that the financial position of CCP is not good.