Panaji, Sep 16 (Calcutta Tube) The Goa cabinet Wednesday reversed its decision taken last year ordering offshore casino vessels plying in the Mandovi river to move into the Arabian Sea.
Instead, the cabinet decided to shuffle the positions of the seven offshore casino vessels along the course of the river.
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said that the casinos would be directed to shift to designated places in the river itself.
‘The proposal was prepared by ports department officials. We have approved it,’ Kamat said.
‘Three vessels will now have to be anchored towards Ribander village, just a kilometre away from Panaji (upstream of the capital), while four others would be located at either side of the Mandovi’s banks,’ Kamat said.
The decision to shift the casino vessels is significant because the government had come under severe criticism from the opposition and civil society groups which claimed that permitting casinos in Goa would result in an increase in the crime rate.
Following this, the cabinet had last year ordered the offshore casino vessels to move into the Arabian Sea, hoping it would pacify the public.
However, the casino managements challenged the cabinet decision in the high court.
There are seven offshore casinos in Goa, apart from more than a dozen casinos located in various five star hotels in the state.