Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday vowed to eliminate offshore casinos from the state`s waterfronts before he completes his tenure, in four years.
"By the time I complete four years, there will be no casino boat in Goa`s waters," Parrikar said, adding that he might require one more year to complete get them out if there are any licencing obligations.
Goa has five offshore casino vessels anchored in River Mandovi and he said that there is no need to doubt the government`s intention to remove offshore casinos from the river.
He said that the Goa government would not renew licences of offshore casinos after a certain cut-off date which would be decided by the government.
However, at the moment, he has not stopped renewing licences of casinos, as it needs to be done only after proper regulations, he said.
"We have not entertained any new application. Also one of the casinos which had applied to transfer its licence to another management was denied permission to do so. This is enough to indicate that we have no intention to encourage offshore casinos," Parrikar said.
When it was pointed out that another company, M/s Delta Corp, had sought permission to replace its old vessel with a new one, Parrikar feigned innocence on the issue.
"No file has come to me asking for replacement of the vessel. If the matter is put up before me, we will have to examine the matter, as the casino licence of the company is alive, although the vessel (mounted with gaming equipment) is not functional. I don`t know what the legal provision in the matter is," Parrikar claimed.