Goa’s offshore casino operators withdraw petitionBy IANS
Thursday, September 23, 2010
PANAJI - Offshore casino operators in Goa Thursday withdrew their petition filed before the Bombay High Court, seeking relief against a state government order issued last year which directed the vessels to relocate to the sea.
In a written submission to the Panaji bench of the Bombay High court, the seven offshore casino operators said they wanted to withdraw the petition, after the state cabinet this month reversed its earlier decision, thereby allowing them to stay put in the Mandovi river, which flows along the capital.
“We have received a letter issued by the state government dated Sep 20, 2010 in which they have informed the off-shore casino managements that the vessels would be relocated within the Mandovi river,” the submission filed before the Panaji bench stated.
The opposition had claimed that huge kick-backs had been passed on to members of the Goa cabinet, after which it had reversed its earlier decision, which was “taken in public interest”.
In a cabinet decision last year, the state government had asked the casino operators to relocate to the Arabian sea - in the Aguada Bay, particularly - in a move which was strongly opposed by the casino lobby citing logistical issues.
Seven offshore casinos, which are essentially large-scale casino operations running from ships, currently dot the Mandovi river in addition to the dozen-odd casinos which are housed in the numerous five-star hotels in the state.