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In another major blow for casino operators in Goa, the coastal state’s government on Tuesday continued its annual tradition of hiking the casino license fees. For the fourth consecutive year, the license fee of casinos has been hiked. The hike is especially exorbitant this time around, as in some cases; the fee has been increased up by up to 4.5 times from last year!
The order comes at a very crucial time as the licenses of all offshore casinos are due to expire on March 31, however, The Times of India reported that according to a source, the government has proposed to extend this by another six months. The new order issued by the state’s finance department will come into force from April 1.
1. The annual recurring license fee for the offshore casino vessel with passenger capacity of over 400 has been hiked from the existing ₹12 Crores to ₹40 Crores (3.5 times)
2. For vessels with passenger capacity between 200 – 400, the fee has been hiked to ₹30 Crores per year from the previous ₹11 Crores (2.7 times)
3. For vessels with passenger capacity of up to 200, the fee has been increased to ₹25 Crores from the earlier ₹10 Crores a year (2.5 times)
|Passenger Capacity||License Fees for FY 2017-18||License Fees for FY 2018-19|
|Upto 200||₹10 Crores||₹25 Crores|
|200-400||₹11 Crores||₹30 Crores|
|Above 400||₹12 Crores||₹40 Crores|
Goa has six offshore and nine land-based casinos and this hike is expected to increase the annual revenue collected by the government by approximately ₹150 Crores!
It`s not just the recurring fee that has been increased, even the transfer license fee, application fee and nonrefundable security deposit amounts, have all been hiked by the government.
The transfer license fee of onshore casinos has been upped to ₹30 Crores from the previous ₹10 Crores and for offshore casinos, the new fee announced is ₹50 Crores from the present ₹20 Crores.
In the case of license application fee, the hike for both offshore and onshore casinos is the same, with the fee climbing up from ₹20 Lakhs to ₹50 Lakhs. License renewal fee for both offshore and onshore casinos has been raised to ₹1 Crores from the existing ₹30 Lakhs.
The increase in non-refundable security deposits made at the time of grant of new license now stands at ₹50 Lakhs as opposed to the former ₹20 Lakhs and the deposits to be paid during renewal will now cost the casinos ₹25 Lakhs from the existing ₹10 Lakhs.
Commenting on the revised license fees, Casino Pride director Srinivas Nayak said that they are yet to get the official intimation, “We are yet to get an official intimation about the hike in various fees for casinos. We will react once we get the details.”
Content courtesy: The Times of India