Goa: GCZMA finds five offshore casino operators’ submitted documents insufficient

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Five offshore casinos which had submitted their applications for No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) have been told their documents are insufficient.

During a meeting on 30 September, the coastal body noticed that five offshore casino operators, Golden Peace Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (MV Majestic Pride), World Wide Resorts and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (MV Lucky Seven), High Street Cruises and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (MV Caravela and MV Casino Royale) and Delta Co-Op Ltd (MV Horseshoe Casino) have submitted incomplete documents.

During the meeting the Authority said, “As per the directives of the NGT, the casino operating in the river requires to obtain the NOC from CRZ in the water area up to 12 nautical miles. The applications received are incomplete and without documents. The Authority after pursuing the applications, decided to ask the applicants to furnish all the details of vessels including the NOC procured by them from the other departments which are required under the law, so as to take further decision in the matter.”

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance was made mandatory for all offshore casino operators in the river Mandovi within the CRZ by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on April 26. All five casino operators were told back then to stop their operations by the NGT as they do not have CRZ clearance to operate.

Meanwhile, an official from the GCZMA said, “There is no ban on casino operations in the State. They can continue to operate as they apply for permission and await CRZ clearance”. Currently, all five casino vessels have been shifted to CRZ- IV zone (within 12 nautical miles in the river), applicant Kashinath Shetye told the NGT. Shetye, who is an activist, had approached the NGT against CRZ violations of Deltin Caravela in May this year and had even served the GCZMA a contempt notice for allowing other casinos to operate without the requisite CRZ clearance.

The Goa State Pollution Control Board has been asked to assess the damage caused by the offshore casinos working without permission and to recover the compensation. The recovered amount will then be used to repair the damage caused.