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6th off-shore casino to start ops in April

Panaji: The sixth off-shore casino is set to start its operations in River Mandovi from next month. Even as there are ministers, who, at one time had strongly opposed the clearance for the sixth off-shore casino, the Manohar Parrikar cabinet on Monday granted permission to M/s Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd to operate its casino in River Mandovi for six months.Consent to M/s Golden Globe Hotel Pvt Ltd (GGHPL) to function in River Mandovi for the period staring April 1 to September 31, 2017, has been granted on par with five off-shore vessels already operating in the river. The permission has been granted in compliance with the high court order, the official said.M/s Golden Globe Hotel Pvt Ltd obtained a relief after it had moved the high court on the failure of the state government to consider its case for renewal of licence even after it had paid dues of Rs 48 crore.
The GGHPL, a subsidiary of former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda’s MDLR Group, had filed a fresh petition for the renewal of licence of the offshore casino, before the home department earlier this month. This was after the high court of Bombay at Goa had directed the state government to consider the application filed by GGHPL, seeking renewal of licence for its offshore casino in Mandovi within 24 hours. The home department had asked GGHPL to produce some statutory documents which was also complied with.When the licence was renewed on March 9, Goa Forward Party had attacked the state government saying it had colluded with the casino lobby to bring in more casinos in the state. In September 2016, the state government has stated before the high court that it would favorably consider the application for further renewal of casino licences from the year 2016 in case GGHPL deposits the annual recurring fees. GGPHL had approached the court as the fee payable was to the tune of Rs 50 crore.S G Desai, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners (GGHPL), had told the court that the payment would be made soon. And accordingly, the payments were made. As the government, apparently, fearing a backlash in the elections, didn’t renew the licence, the company approached the high court. [TOI]

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