The problem of the six casino vessels in Goa that have been the target of the opposition party and social protests for months may have an easy answer after all. Or not.
“Out of sight is out of mind,” said Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat during the second anniversary celebration of his government. “Right now people are protesting because they see the casinos in the Mandovi River. Once they move away out of sight into the sea, I don’t think there will be any problem.”
The comments of the chief minister were not well received by the opposition party BJP.
“It only speaks about how casual the chief minister is in his approach,” said Govind Parvatkar of the BJP. “He is only pulling wool over the people’s eyes. Administration has never been a serious matter in the Digambar Kamat regime.”
The comments were neither received well by the casino operators, who want to remain in the river. The Goa government recently ordered the boats to move from the river to the less-hospitable Aguada Bay. A new organization, the Association of Off-Shore Casinos, has begun to lobby for favorable legislation and has pointed out that not only jobs, but tourism depends on the vessels. Some of the businesses boosted by the casino operators include airlines, hospitality, tour operators, entertainment, taxi operators, food and beverage suppliers (both retail and wholesale), equipment servicing and repairs, software and computer services, electronics and telecommunications, printing, publishing and advertising.