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While the casino industry in Goa is trudging under the weight of relocation demands, the trouble has now shifted to the union territory of Daman and Diu.
A subsidiary of listed gaming company Delta Corp Limited, Daman Hospitality Private Limited, on December 13 submitted a writ petition in the Bombay High Court asking the court to direct the Union Territory administration to grant a casino license to the company under Section 13A of the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976.
The regulatory filing in the National Stock Exchange (NSE), signed by Delta Corp’s Company Secretary & GM Dilip Vaidya, states that “Daman Hospitality has filed the petition, which names the U.T. Administration of Daman and Diu, Administrator of the U.T of Daman and Diu and Director of Tourism, U.T. Administration of Daman and Diu as respondents.”
Launched in 2014, the 5-star resort ‘The Deltin’ had planned to offer live and electronic gaming at the property and even installed electronic slot machine games at the resort. They had approached the relevant authorities to acquire the required sanctions, however, four years have gone by since then and the company it yet to receive any license or regulatory approval from the Union Territory administration. In lieu of a lack of progress, Delta Corp has now decided to approach the Bombay High Court to seek relief in this situation.
Delta Corp has over the years firmly established itself in the gaming and gambling domain. With a total of four casinos operating in two corners of the country, three in Goa (south) and one in Sikkim (north-east), while also running an online ‘skill gaming’ business, i.e. the Adda52 poker site, it is no surprise that the company posted a 39% growth in revenue for the fiscal Q2 which ended on September 30.
After having successfully set up casinos in Goa and Sikkim, Daman was the next logical choice for Delta Corp since the union territory would have paved the way for the domestic casino giant to access the yet untapped Gujarat market, which would have certainly been a feather in the cap of India’s only listed gaming company.
But the lengthy period of delay may have possibly diminished the overall value of the venture, forcing the company to take the various branches of the government of Daman and Diu, including its Director of Tourism, to court.
It is now up to the Bombay High Court to decide the ultimate outcome of this matter. A date for the hearing has not yet been disclosed.