Frustrated by an increasingly intractable state government, the casino operators in Goa, India, have formed a trade association to speak with one voice in opposition to government plans.
The most onerous plan was just revealed last month. The Goa government now wants the floating casinos to move from the Mandovi River, where they have been operating, to Aguada Bay, a body of water “known for choppy seas and unstable navigation conditions,” according to the Association of Offshore Casino Operators, the new trade association formed by the operators.
Srinivas Nair of AOCO has complained that the cabinet-level decision, expected to be enforced by the captain of ports, was “ill-conceived.” The association has appealed the decision to the Bombay High Court.
The change of venue is just the latest in harassment of the Goa casino industry, which currently consists of six boats, with another to open shortly.
John Snowball, who operates one of the largest casinos in Goa, the Maharaja, serves as spokesman for the AOCO. He said the main reason for the group’s formation was informational.
“Our association will aim to educate people and the government about the casino industry. We deal a lot with the government. There is little point in going ahead individually. A united move is needed. We need to go ahead with a single voice,” Snowball said.