100% increase in revenue from casinos

Story Summary: 

The state exchequer has witnessed an increase in the collection of revenue on account of changes made in various fees linked to the casinos, with the revenue collected through entry fee

PANAJI: The state exchequer has witnessed an increase in the collection of revenue on account of changes made in various fees linked to the casinos, with the revenue collected through entry fee as well as entertainment tax registering around 100 per cent increase as compared to last year.

It may be recalled that the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, who also holds the finance portfolio, had hiked the annual licence fee per casino from Rs 5 crore to Rs 6.5 crore, while at the same time reducing the entry fee from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500.

There exist four casinos operating off-shore and 11 casinos operating on-shore, with proper licences from the government, while the total number of casinos anchored in River Mandovi is five. The four off-shore casinos with valid licences belong to M/s Goa Coastal Resorts and Recreations Pvt Ltd, M/s Highstreet Cruises and Entertainment Pvt Ltd, M/s Victor Hotels and Motels Ltd, M/s V M Salgaocar and Brothers Pvt Ltd, and M/s Advani Pleasure Cruise Company Pvt Ltd. The fifth casino anchored in River Mandovi and owned by M/s Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd has licence issued for the period between February 26, 2010, and September 26, 2011.

The written information provided by Mr Parrikar to the House states that the collection of entertainment tax revenue after the changes in budget has shown substantial increase. It further states that the collection of revenue on account of entry fee for the corresponding period before reduction is Rs 2.72 crore, while after reduction it is Rs 4.29 crore.

"Apart from reduction of entry fee and increase in the licence fee, the government has increased the entertainment tax on casinos on percentage basis, from 10 per cent to 15 per cent with effect from 2012-13, and this has resulted in increase in the collection, for which comparative figures are Rs 4.35 crore before the increase and Rs 8.66 crore after the increase," says the information.

The written information further states, "The financial implications on the state after increase of licence fee on casinos in the state amounts to increase in revenue on off-shore casinos - Rs 9 crore - approximately per year, while increase in revenue on on-shore casinos - Rs 33.28 crore - approximately per year.

Meanwhile, the casino trade has provided employment to a total of 2,423 persons, including 1,594 Goans and 829 non-Goans. The written information provided by Mr Parrikar to the House states that four off-shore casinos and ten on-shore casinos have provided various jobs to these 2,423 persons.

The M V Caravela off-shore casino has provided jobs to 170 persons including 111 Goans and 59 non-Goans, while Casino Royale off-shore casino has employed a total of 651 persons including 462 Goans and 189 non-Goans. The third off-shore casino, M V Boa Sorte has employed 261 persons including 237 Goans and 24 non-Goans, while Casino Pride has a workforce of 351 persons, including 151 Goans and 200 non-Goans.

The ten on-shore casinos providing jobs to Goans as well as non-Goans are Casino Carnival (Goa Marriott Resort), Grand 7 Casino (O Hotel, Candolim), Casino Paradise (Hotel Neo Majestic), Casino Palms (Calangute), Casino Palace (Riviera de Goa Hotel), Casino Pearl (Riviera de Goa Hotel), Casino Goldfinger (Hotel Cidade de Goa), Casino Treasures (Majorda Beach Resort), Casino Vegas (The Leela), and Casino Duels (Zuari White Sands Resort).

It was also informed that the Advani Pleasure Cruise Company Pvt Ltd has been granted permission as regards the berthing place, for five terms of eleven months each, with effect from December 17, 2010, to July 21, 2015. "As regards other off-shore casinos, no berthing has been given to the casino vessels and hence no Expressions of Interest or tenders have been floated," the written information noted.