Goa’s offshore casinos ordered off city limits

February 24th, 2009 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 24 (IANS) The six offshore casino-ships docked in the Mandovi river have been ordered off city limits within 15 days, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Tuesday said.
Speaking to reporters during a post cabinet briefing, Kamat said the government will also set up a gaming commission within three months to regulate gambling in both off shore and onshore casinos operating in Goa.

“The gaming commission will regulate gambling and will finalise a payout ratio, which will be implemented,” Kamat said. A payout ratio is used to determine how much money a game of chance gives to the players when compared to the money earned by the casino operators.

Off shore casinos, which have been operational in Goa for nearly a decade, had virtually no governing authority.

The six ‘offshore’ casinos which had been permanently docked along the Mandovi river had also been ordered off city limits within 15 days, the chief minister said.

“They have to operate from outside city limits. They are offshore casinos. They have to operate from anywhere one nautical mile off the shore,” Kamat said.

“They can dock temporarily for a few hours for repairs or if they have to do some loading. But they cannot park permanently, the way they have been doing,” Kamat said.

The chief minister also said that his government would not mind allowing two more casinos as long as they are away from the shore. “The cabinet feels, that if there are even one or two more casinos the government would earn more to spend on social causes. No one should mind,” Kamat said.

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