The state of Andhra Pradesh now mulling floating casinos. The coastal state is reportedly exploring the option of opening undisclosed numbers of floating casinos along the long coast of Bay of Bengal. Goa already has shipboard gambling operations in India.
However, no government official has confirmed the report. One official who is involved with this revealed with the request of anonymity that the state is struggling for resources and taxes. Another unnamed official said that the idea is being explored for some time now.
However, the time of the report is quite contradictory. A month earlier, the Andhra Pradesh government amended the State Gambling Laws to criminalize online poker, rummy, and other skill games. The rules not only target the operators but also the player. The players could end up in prison for six months.
In India, only Goa and Sikkim have gambling operations within the state borders. However, the gambling operations are shut down since March to arrest the spread of COVID19.
The floating of casinos received yet another six-month delay as the government still hasn’t really figured a long term plan for the aquatic gambling market. The extension was set to expire on September 30.
The casinos now will stay until March 31, 2021, at the current spot on the Mandovi river. However, the government is yet to announce a timeline for the resumption of gambling operations. There are four casinos that hold licenses and are set to expire in 2023. One of the casino’s license expires next year. MV Horseshoe seeking for a renewal of the license which expired in 2018.
The Corporation of City of Panaji which deals with the disruptions caused by the onshore activity of the casinos said in last October that it would not renew the trade licenses of the casinos.