Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has granted in-principle approval to offshore casinos operating on the Mandovi river, however, the authority is yet to receive the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reports from them. As per sources, GCZMA took the decision post acknowledgement of vessel information from the operators.
It is, though, clarified that the final NOC will be granted to the operators only after they submit their respective reports to the authority within an undisclosed amount of time.
Earlier in April 2022, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had discovered that the casino operators did not possess the Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) clearances, something which is mandatory for waterfront and foreshore activities as per a 2011 notification.
Upon submission of their applications, they were found to be incomplete and necessary documents were not enclosed with the same. Post this, NGT also recommended the operators to get approvals for operating up to 12 nautical miles.
Now as per The Times of India report, only one of the casinos has submitted the required documents until April 2023, whereas, the in-principle approvals have been granted to MV Caravela and MV Casino Royale; MV Majestic Pride; and to casinos operated by the Goa Coastal Resorts & Recreation and Golden Globe Hotels.
In July 2022, the Pollution Control Board also took strict actions against the casino operators by doubling the fee that they charge for sewage monitoring in the region. Various authorities take such actions in order to minimize the harm caused by the operations of casinos in the state. Nonetheless, operators have often been reluctant upon complying with the rules and regulations imposed by various authorities.