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In continuation of the debacles currently being witnessed by the casino industry of the country, Casino Strike which was the biggest onshore casino operating in Grand Hyatt Hotel of Goa has been served with a legal notice by the Goa government to shutdown. The move comes in wake of the failure of the casino’s management to pay up the hiked annual renewal fee, coming to ₹40 Crores.
According to sources, the management of Casino Strike reportedly failed to pay up the revised license fee despite the extension of payment deadline by the state government to May 8.
While two other casinos, namely, Crown and Carnival that were based in Panaji pulled shutters down on their own last month, Strike which is an on-shore casino at Grand Hyatt in Bambolim was served a legal notice by the government.
As a possible solution to its current crisis, management of Casino Strike has sought permission from the government to run the casino from a smaller area, of 300 square meters, that will bind it to pay lesser fee, of ₹20 Crores. The government’s stand on the application is not clear yet.
Casino business in Goa seems to have hit rough weather since the government of Goa announced a monumental hike in different operational fees for financial year 2018-19, about 2.5-4.5 times the previous year’s figures. Already the numbers have been dwindling in the casino world in Goa. Till March 2017 there were 15 operational casinos including 5 off shore and 10 onshore.
Casino operators made repeated efforts to negotiate with the government, submitting memorandum and some even sought legal intervention. However there was no relief from the court either and the government merely increased the deadline for payment from April 1 to May 8. While 6 of the 11 casinos finally paid up, two of them – Crown and the Carnival informed the government of their closure.