The launch of the Maharajah Casino ship last month was joined by the news that Goa intends to make available another five licenses for shipboard casinos. If the plan goes through, it will bring to eight the number of gaming vessels plying the waters just off this popular tourist destination.
The plan has met with a huge response, according to Goa Chief Secretary J.P. Singh.
“The cabinet has approved ‘in-principle’ to grant five more licenses to operate offshore casinos in the state,” Singh said, according to a report in TravelBiz Monitor. “We have received a total of 15 applications for fresh licenses to operate floating casinos, but only five licenses have been approved.”
Two of the five “in-principle approved” licenses are said to be going to local operators Goa Coastal Resorts and Recreation Pvt. Ltd. and Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. Also among the rumored winners is Cannosa Investment of Hong Kong, one of the companies that was at the center of the battle for control of Nepal’s casinos.
Other proposals reportedly have come from Creative Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., V. M. Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. and Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., all from India. From the U.K., interest has come from Clermont Leisure and Victoria Club, according to TravelBiz Monitor.
The government has also decided to collect an additional fee of 100,000 rupees-$2,500-from hotels that have casino licenses. There are currently about 10 hotels licensed and offering some slot machines on premises.