Goa casinos face relocation to airport entertainment zone

The Indian state of Goa is contemplating forcing its casino industry to relocate en masse to a new ‘entertainment zone’ planned for a local airport.

Last week, Goa’s Public Works minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar informed the state legislature that the government planned to open a designated entertainment zone near the under-construction airport in the village of Mopa along the state’s northern border.

Goa’s six licensed shipboard casinos are floating on borrowed time, as the state government previously announced that the vessels will all have to move their gaming operations onshore by July 2020. The Mopa airport isn’t expected to open for business until 2020, and Dhavalikar didn’t specify whether the planned entertainment zone would open in advance of the airport.

Goa also has nine land-based gaming venues, most of which are based in luxury hotels and cater to tourists. However, Dhavalikar suggested that all Goa casinos – be they floating or land-based – could be relocated to the new Mopa entertainment zone.

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