Offshore casino deadlock: Operators, Goa officials to meet

June 16th, 2009 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 16 (IANS) Representatives of the offshore casino operators and the Goa government’s ports department will meet Wednesday, in an attempt to break the deadlock between the two parties as the operators refused to move anchor from the Mandovi river.
In a hearing at the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court Tuesday, the offshore casino operators however conceded, that they would be willing to park their vessels along either bank of the river, in order to ensure that the river’s navigation channel is not obstructed.

The Captains of Ports department, which oversees the functioning of minor ports in Goa had in March ordered that the casino vessels should be moved out of the river into the Aguada bay, citing congestion in river traffic.

The casino operators, who went to court against the order, maintained that Aguada bay was not a safe marine environment because of the turbulent nature of the sea in the area.

They also maintained that the vessels on which the casinos are housed were not seaworthy and could be operated only in the river, also adding that their business would be severely affected if the vessels were to be moved from the river Mandovi.

Currently, six offshore casinos are operational in the Mandovi river, with one more expected to join their ranks soon.

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