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Another offshore casino anchors in Mandovi; ministers miffed

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

One more offshore casino vessel has anchored in the here, drawing criticism from two ministers who hit out at the state's bureaucracy for giving permission for it.

Thursday took strong objection to the anchoring of yet another offshore casino vessel in the river.

He said bureaucracy has allowed the offshore casino vessel, 'Big Daddy', to anchor in the Mandovi at a time when the is formulating a policy to shift all the ships laden with gaming machines out of the river.

The coastal state already has six offshore casino vessels, and 'Big Daddy', operated by Hotels Pvt Ltd, anchored in the river Wednesday.

"I strongly oppose the entry of the Big Daddy in the Mandovi. We have almost finalized a policy to drive out the existing vessels and clear the and this is a sign of disappointment.

"Bureaucracy rules the state while we watch in disappointment," Khaunte tweeted.

Offshore casinos, a tourist attraction, have been facing opposition from certain quarters, forcing the government to announce these vessels would be moved out of the river.

also expressed his disapproval, saying the casino vessel has been allowed to anchor at a time when the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls is in force.

"There was a haste on the part of bureaucracy to allow the vessel to enter into the They could have waited for the code of conduct to get over," he said.

Salogankar claimed the owner of the casino does not have the required no objection certificate from the ports department to anchor the vessel.

"The vessel also does not have permission under the Indian Vessels Act, 1917 to anchor in waters," he said.

Opposition reacted sharply to the addition of one more casino vessel in the river.

"Our allegations have been confirmed that casino lobby is running this government and deciding policies of BJP," said in a statement here.

"Actually, the entire casino lobby itself is 'Big Daddy' of BJP," he added.

The main opposition party has assured to drive out the casino vessels from the Mandovi once it comes to power in the state.

Hotels officials were not available for comment.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 18:45 IST