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Goa govt drastically hikes casino license fees



Continuing with the trend of hiking recurring casino license fees at the end of every financial year, the BJP-led Goa government has announced that annual license fees for both onshore and offshore casinos would be hiked, with effect from 1st April, 2018.

As per media reports, the license fee for casino vessels that can accommodate upto 200 passengers has been hiked to Rs. 25 crore per annum, a 250% increase from the existing Rs. 10 crores. Similarly, the license fees for offshore casinos with a capacity of 201-400 passengers has been hiked to Rs. 30 crores and for those vessels having passenger capacity of over 400 persons has been hiked to Rs. 40 crores.

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Application fees for onshore/land-based casinos and offshore casinos licence has been increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Further, the non-refundable security deposit  for onshore and offshore casinos has been hiked from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, which is to be paid at the time of grant of new licence. The security deposit for renewal has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.

The state government has also raised fees for renewal of licence for both onshore and offshore casinos from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 crore. The government has also increased fees for transfer of licence for onshore casinos from Rs 10 crore to Rs 30 crore and for offshore casinos it has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 50 crore.

The increase in license fees for various categories of onshore and offshore casinos are given in the table below:

Onshore casinos

Size License fees for FY 2017-18 Increased license fees for FY 2018-19
Up to 100 square metres Rs. 4 crore Rs. 10 crore
100-300 square metres Rs. 5 crore Rs. 20 crore
300-500 square metres Rs. 5.50 crores Rs. 25 crores
500-750 square metres Rs. 7 crores Rs. 32 crores
750-1000 square metres Rs. 8 crores Rs. 36 crores
Above 1,000 square metres Rs. 8.5 crores Rs. 40 crores

Offshore casinos

Passenger capacity License fees for FY 2017-18 Increased license fees for FY 2018-19
Upto 200 Rs. 10 crores Rs. 25 crores
200-400 Rs. 11 crores Rs. 30 crores
Above 400 Rs. 12 crores Rs. 40 crores

News reports also indicate that the offshore casinos, which were expected to be shifted out of the River Mandovi by 31st March, 2018 will be given a further extension of one year to remain within the territorial waters of the river or until a solution of shifting them elsewhere is found.

Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.