Goa’s Indian state is getting another land-based casino, even though it hasn’t yet worked out where to put their floating casinos.
The Times of India announced this week that a new casino for the Fern Kadamba Hotel and Spa, a five-star resort in Panjim, Old Goa, has been approved by the Goa state government. The addition allegedly would bring the total number of ground-based gaming facilities in luxury hotels to nine in the state.
The casino will only provide electronic gambling options in accordance with local regulations, as live gaming tables are restricted to the six floating casinos in the state. Offering 17 electronic card tables, four electronic roulette tables, five slot machines and a money wheel, the Kadamba site, a 300 square metre room with a capacity of 100, is reportedly.
Goa’s floating casinos have been an almost constant source of trouble for the local government, mainly due to its failure to settle at a more palatable temporary mooring point on the Mandovi River and difficulties in pursuing a proposal for a permanent land-based gaming zone to which casinos have been told they would eventually be forced to move.
Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo has struck a defiant stance this week, saying that not only should the floating casinos remain on the Mandovi, more floating casinos should be permitted for other rivers in the state. Public lobbying by Lobo for more casinos is based on his conviction that the gaming industry was a boon to the state treasury and created reasonably good-paying jobs for untold numbers of local residents.
Having originally spoken out against the recent ban on local residents joining casinos, this is only the most contrary stance Lobo has staked out. Lobo has also advocated the legalisation of matka, a type of lottery that despite its illegal nature is wildly popular with the locals.
Lobo’s stance resulted in immediate pushback by Congress Party local members, who said Lobo’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to deliver on their promise to resolve Goa’s floating casino conundrum. Congress said rallies would be held to remind the people of the shortcomings of the BJP, and to press for “removing offshore vessels.”