Hiking the fees for Casinos by 50%, the State Government has issued a notification to all offshore and onshore casinos in Goa. Now they are forced to pay double to renew their licences as well as pay the hiked annual recurring fee (depending on the size for on-shore ones and passenger capacity for off-shore Casinos) and a high transfer of licence fee as well. The Casinos in Goa will now have to pay to stay.
Let’s take a closer look at the Crores of rupees received by the Government by way of Casino fees:
‘Renewal of Licence’ Fee
Licence Renewal Fees have been hiked by 50%. From the existing 20 lakhs to 30 lakhs per Casino.
‘Transfer of Licence’ Fee
Transfer of License from one owner to another, upon approval by the Government, will be fixed at ₹ 10 crores for Casinos in 5-Star Hotels and ₹ 20 crores for off-shore Casinos.
‘Annual Recurring’ Fee
The notification also stated that the Licensee shall be liable to pay an annual recurring fee.
For Land-based Casinos
- With an area of up to 100 sqmtrs, the fee would be ₹ 4 crores
- With an area above 100 sqmtrs up to 300 sqmtrs the fee would be ₹ 5 crores
- With an area above 300 sqmtrs up to 500 sqmtrs, the fee would be ₹ 5.50 crores
- With an area above 500 sqmtrs up to 750 sqmtrs, the fee would be ₹ 7 crores
- With an area above 750 sqmtrs to 1000 sqmtrs, the fee would be ₹ 8 crores
- And above 1000 sqmtrs the fee would be ₹ 8.50 crores
For Offshore casinos
In the case of off-shore casinos, the fee is determined by the passenger capacity with includes the captain and crew.
Off-shore Casinos with a total passenger capacity of 200 passengers the fee would be ₹ 10 crores
Those with a total passenger capacity of more than 200 passengers upto 400 passengers the fee would be ₹ 11 crores
For those with a total passenger capacity of more than 400 passengers, the fee will be ₹ 12 crores.
The notification signed by the Chief Secretary, Shrinet Kotwale also stated that all licensees should pay the annual recurring fees for the financial year ending 31st March 2018 within 30 days from the date of commencement of the notification.
Determination of the capacity of passengers per vessel will be as per the certification of Captain of Ports or Director General Shipping.
Though the Government earns huge sums of money from these Casinos, they are a bane to society and to the environment in Goa. The Mandovi River is one of Goa’s lifeline rivers. The pollution from the Offshore casinos is polluting its waters which in turn is poisoning its marine life.
Unfortunately, the promises made by the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to cancel licences of Casinos and remove the floating Casinos from the Mandovi River have remained unfulfilled.