India

Thane rural police have arrested five in connection with a cricket betting racket during the Asia Cup, local media reported. The gamblers were betting on the Sri Lanka vs Pakistan match ''The accused made the transactions through hawala,'' a police official was cited as saying.

 

Goa’s Congress accused Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of seeking an amendment to the Gambling Act to allow the Sahara Group’s offshore casino vessel to operate in state waters, local media reported. The ruling BJP dismissed the charge as “cheap election gimmicks.” 

Delta Corp said it has launched its Daman integrated resort project, called The Deltin. The 176-room property is Delta’s biggest in India to date. The company is proposing an in-house casino spread over 60,000 square feet. Delta Corp is in the process of getting a 5-star certification for the hotel, and will subsequently commence casino operations, it said in a statement.

 

Pride Group has taken over the ownership of offshore Casino Carnival, following a transfer of ownership from V M Salgaocar & Bro Pvt Ltd, local media said. The reports said the transfer appears to have gone through despite the current controversy over license transfers in the state. Casino Carnival staffers received a message from Pride Group’s Kevin Wilcocks asking them to report to a meeting in a hotel owned by the group, the reports cited sources as saying.

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India has asked the central government to allow gaming machines to be installed in Daman, Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli in an effort to attract more tourists. In a detailed memorandum submitted to the administrator of Daman, Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the association also suggested making imported brands of spirit and wines available, declaring 2014-15 as tourism year, improving road network and implementing an integrated master plan for tourism.

 

Goa’s Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the state is in the process of finalizing rules to allow the transfer of casino licenses, according to local media. He said the rules are currently being vetted and will be published shortly. 

However, he made clear that Goa will not permit any more than the current six offshore casino licenses. A Gaming Commissioner will be appointed by Feb. 28th and local Goans will be barred from entering casinos from March 1, the reports said.

A committee set up by the Supreme Court has indicted Gurunath Meiyappan, who is married to the daughter of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, for illegal betting during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition last year, Reuters reported, citing a copy of the committee’s report. Meiyappan was arrested in late May by Mumbai Police probing illegal betting on the cash-rich Twenty20 league but was released on bail within two weeks.

A three-member committee headed by the former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court Mukul Mudgal has asked the Supreme Court to legalize sports betting in an attempt to stop match-fixing in cricket, according to local media.  The committee said at present investigators lack the tools to detect sporting fraud. "They have stated that legalizing sports betting would reduce the element of black money and the influence of the underworld," the report said.

Delta Corp reports gaming revenue in the quarter ending Dec. 31st rose 83 percent to 82.35 crore and says it’s close to receiving all necessary approvals to open a luxury casino resort in Daman. EBITDA in the quarter almost doubled to 43.25 crore from 25.64 crore, while EPS was Rs0.68. “The numbers from the December quarter are testament to our belief that gaming business in India is set for impressive and exponential growth,” Chief Financial Officer Hardik Dhebar said. 

 

Goa’s onshore casinos will be hardest hit by the state government’s decision to ban locals, according to a local media report. More than 80 percent of gamblers at onshore casinos in the south of Goa are local, while 50 percent of patrons in the north are from the state. 

That compares with the offshore casinos whose clientele is about 70 percent tourist based. The last week of 2013 was a boom period for casinos in Goa as a large number of tourists descended on the state. Sources say that profits almost trebled compared with a normal day.

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