Casinos bite bullet, pay increased license fees

Despite weeks of protests, a majority of Goa’s onshore and offshore casinos have accepted and paid their increased annual recurring license fees to the government, local media reports.

The increased fees are nearly 2.5 to 4.5 times higher than that of previous years, and has been met with much litigation, and petitions from Goa’s casinos.

However, last month, the government rejected a petition to lower the fee, or to grant interim relief while a decision was to be made.

According to sources, as of Friday, five offshore casinos and six out of 11 onshore casinos have paid their revised fees, amounting to around Rs 200 crores (US$29.9 million)

The government is expecting another Rs 100 – 150 crore from the remaining casino operators.

It is also understood that two casinos, Crown and Carnival have informed the government they have shut their operations down in April already.