In a temporary relief to the offshore casinos in Goa, the BJP government in Goa has granted them an extension of six months. It may be recalled that these offshore casinos are located in the Mandovi River off Panaji. The BJP had promised to shut down these casinos and it was also a part of the common minimum program that was declared by BJP prior to the elections in Goa. The decision to allow six-month extension to offshore casinos in Goa was taken during a cabinet meeting held by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. The CM assured the people of Goa that this is just a temporary extension and the original plan of shutting down the offshore casinos in Goa is on track. He said that the government is working to plan the relocation of these offshore casinos.
Parrikar said that 6 months is the maximum time that may be needed to shift the offshore casinos. He said that he was confident that they would be able to find the best solution by December 2017. The offshore casinos are a prime attraction for tourists visiting Goa and there are currently 5 such offshore casinos in Goa. All of these are operating from the Mandovi River. Goa also has nine onshore casinos and these are located at five-star resorts in the coastal areas. The move to shift the offshore casinos was taken after complaints were received from activists. It is said that these offshore casinos promote gambling and also cause environmental damage.