Goa: State govt collecting Rs 368.50 crore annually in casino license fee

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According to the Goa government, the casinos operating in the state generated Rs 936.64 crore in revenue for the state treasury between April 1, 2019, and July 15, 2023.

The revelation was made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday during the monsoon session of the Goa Assembly, in response to a question posed by Velim MLA Cruz Silva. Sawant also shared, as reported by The Navhind Times, that there are currently 17 casinos in the state, six of which are offshore and the remaining onshore.

As for the revenue distribution, the state government received Rs 187 crore from offshore casinos while onshore ones contributed Rs 181.5 crore, bringing in a total of Rs 368.50 crore annually to the government as license fees.

Meanwhile, the casino operators had found themselves in a tussle with the state government last year regarding the license fee. The casino operators contented that they were forced to shut down for the Covid-19 period and so should not be paying the license fee along with interest. The High Court decision did not go in the casinos’ favour as it rejected interim relief to them.

The casino operators then approached the Supreme Court, who in April this year, directed them to deposit 75% of the annual recurring fee (ARF) for the Covid-19 impacted period.

The casino operators will now have to comply with Goa government’s demand and deposit at least 75% of the license fee for the Covid-19 period. The rest of the 25% will be subject to interest if appeals are quashed. However, if the operators pay the full license fee together, then the interest will be waived off.

The matter will be listed again this year after October.