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Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change (gamblingcompliance.com ... registration required)
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Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
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http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B
Goanet News
2008-04-15 12:45:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/13608/search/hl/Goa%3B

Goa Operators In Tranche Warfare Over Licensing Change
AndrewG's company logo
Andrew Gellatly, 15/04/2008
GamblingCompliance Ltd.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

Goa's state cabinet has agreed to award a tranche of five licences to
offshore casinos operating out of the Mandovi river area, raising the
prospect of increased competition in a currently undersupplied but
controversial market. However, a recent doubling of gaming taxes for
operators in the state means that the government also stands to
receive a significant revenue boost.

In 1996 the Goa Public Gambling Act (1976) was amended to introduce
casino ships to Goa by adding one line to the text of a law that had
already authorised games of electronic amusement and slot machines in
five-star hotels. The amendment authorised: "table games and gaming on
board vessels operating offshore, subject to conditions."

But since the modification of the Act, Goa has hosted only two
offshore casinos - Advani Group's, M V Caravella and Leela Hotel's, M
V Leela.

A third floating casino, Maharajah, owned by Creative Gaming
Solutions, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Pan India Network
Infravest Pvt. Ltd., is expected to commence operations within weeks,
but speculation has remained over the government's willingness to
grant further permissions.

That doubt was removed when Goa's Chief Secretary, J P Singh,
confirmed last week: "The cabinet has now approved 'in-principle' to
grant five more licences to operate offshore casinos in the state."

But with investors all looking for the next fast-growing east Asian
leisure market, the Goa government has, predictably, already received
no shortage of applications for the new tranche of licenses.

Estimates suggest as many as twenty-two companies have applied, with
some proposals coming from existing five-star hotels operations in the
area.

Among the applicants, it has been reported that Goa Coastal Resorts
and Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd. (both from
Goa), Cannosa Investment (Hong Kong), and Recreation Centre (Nepal)
have all seen their proposals progress to receive 'in principle'
approval.

Other operators that have been named as applicants include Creative
Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd., Herald
Publications Pvt. Ltd., Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt.
Ltd., V M Salgaoncar and Bro Pvt. Ltd. Hotel Leela Ventures Ltd., and
Clermont Leisure from the UK.

In 2005, the Goa government increased the annual licensing fee for
offshore casinos from fee from R10m to R50m, (?635,000) but in its
state a budget presented last month finance minister Dayanand Narvekar
also hiked the entertainment tax to ten percent on all casinos,
including those operating offshore.

At the same time, the Goa government has also announced an additional
fee of R100,000 (?1,270) for hotels holding casino licences.

But if the new tranche of five licences looks set to more than double
the number of casinos operating out of the Mandovi River and boost the
government's coffers along the way, it is not happening without
controversy.

While Manguirish Pai Raikar, Vice-President of the Goa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said he believes the expansion of casino
operations in the area "will attract a different segment of people who
never come down to Goa, helping the state's economy, as well as
hotels," the state's opposition parties remain resolutely opposed to
casino tourism in the state.

"We don't want to turn Goa into a gambler's paradise. We strongly
oppose offshore casinos here," said leader of the opposition and
former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. "By promoting casino tourism,
we will be losing on quality tourists,"

The BJP has opposed offshore casinos since their beginnings in Goa,
viewing them as socially corrosive.

* * *

Goa's Casino Boats In Licensing Limbo
Richard Orange, 11/12/2007

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

The first of Goa's planned casino boats should be ready to start
operations on Goa's Mandovi River by late January, although whether
they will be able to catch the end of Goa's high season looks
increasingly dependent on the whim of the regional government.

John Snowball, who is overseeing the development of Essel Group's
Maharaja Casino boat, said either his boat or the rival Casino Royale,
which is being developed by India's Modi family, would be in place
within two months.

However, before they can begin operations, the ships must first be
accredited by the marine authorities, primarily Delhi's Directorate
General of shipping, before receiving gambling license to the state
government.

Snowball said the process was fraught with risk for potential
investors. Each boat will have to be fully fitted out before the
authorities will issue the licenses. Snowball estimates the consortia
have already spent upwards of US$13m.

Snowball recently moved to the Essel venture from Premier Leisure,
where he ran the Winner's Casino and was helping develop the Pride of
Goa casino boat.

He said the Maharaja Casino was the only boat that had already begun
training Goan locals to work the card rooms, a process the Modi group
plans to begin in January.

The Maharaja is presently being fitted out in Mumbai, in nearby Maharashtra.

Snowball said "The big difficulty is not so much getting your boat
together but getting sufficient management and staff together. You
can't just find 150 gaming staff and 20 supervisors at the drop of a
hat, because they don't exist."

Since the Goan government allowed 'offshore' casinos in 1996, it has
granted two licenses. In 1997, it granted a license to the Caravela, a
joint venture between Advani Hotels Resorts and Casinos Austria sited
on the Mandovi River. Last year it granted a license to the Leela, a
venture of the Leela Hotel group.

Twenty one companies applied in the recent licensing round and the
Goan authorities have said they may allow between three and four new
boats.

The banks of the Mandovi river at the Goan capital of Panjim now looks
set to be developed as a strip of casinos, after plans for other
rivers have run into trouble.

The Leela is now moving to the Mandovi, after its arrival in the river
Sal earlier this year sparked a wave of protests and the Essel and
Modi boats will both be situated there.

http://www.gamblingcompliance.com/node/10750/search/hl/Goa%3B

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