Days following Manohar Parrikar’s return as Chief Minister of Goa, leading the BJP-led administration, fees for casinos were hiked by 30% to 50%, depending on the categories. The hike declared in the budget is the third in consecutive years. This hike will undoubtedly affect those who play poker in India .
The news was initially reported by the Herald Goa and informed the following increase in fees -
●License renewal fees have been increased by almost 30% from INR 20 lakhs to INR 30 lakhs.
●Yearly recurring fees for land-based casinos will now be INR 50 lakhs. Offshore casinos with passenger capacity between 200 and 400 will now have to fork out INR 11 crores. Vessels with passenger capacity upwards of 400 will be charged INR 12 crores.
●Transfer fees have been ramped to INR 10 crores for onshore and to INR 20 crores for offshore casinos. Presently, transfer fees entailed INR 2 lakhs for application and INR 5 crores on approval.
The rise has been announced barely a week prior to the March 31 deadline for the offshore casinos to be relocated out of the River Mandovi, which is rather contradictory and prompts one to wonder about the shift. In fact, even before the poll results, the license for the sixth casino was renewed for Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited.
Despite the hike, casino operators must sleep easy now that Parrikar is back, as he has openly declared casinos as revenue-cows for the state and this initiative will certainly quell the anti-BJP lobby, which accuses it of being pro-casinos.
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