Casino operators withdraw their pleas against govt

The operators of floating casinos on Thursday withdrew the petitions filed by them challenging the state government’s decision to shift their vessels from the Mandovi river to the Aquada bay area.

The decision not to go ahead with the petitions came following the recent cabinet decision to relocate the vessels within the river. A division bench comprising Justice D G Karnik and Justice F M Reis allowed the withdrawal of the petitions filed by casino operators of the six floating casinos – Maharajah, Caravela, Leela, Casino Royale, Arabian Sea King and Pride of Goa.

The operators had challenged the government’s decision on the ground that it is violative of the principles of natural justice and fair play. When the petitions came up for hearing on Thursday, the advocates appearing for the floating casino operators told the court that they want to withdraw the pleas in view of the cabinet decision to relocate the casinos within the Mandovi river.

The cabinet had on September 15 approved the proposal of the Captain of Ports (CoP) to relocate the anchorage of the floating casinos within the Mandovi river instead of moving them to Aquada bay area. As per the Captain of Portsproposal, three casinos are to be relocated to the eastern side of the Mandovi bridge, two each near Betim and one to the southern side of the river. Earlier, the state government had pointed out to the court that these vessels pose a serious navigational hazard to barges, trawlers and pleasure cruises operating in the river.


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