Casinos may be permitted at Goa’s Mopa Airport

Mopa Airport

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant revealed to the legislative assembly that a concession agreement with a local infrastructure company could also allow the construction of casinos in a commercial zone close to the new Mopa airport. 

Sawant was presenting one of the annexures laying out permitted commercial activities in the zone in reply to a starred question raised by BJP legislator Wilfred D’Sa.

The casinos would be reserved for airline passengers only, however an amendment to the current law is still required to make the proposal a reality. The commercial area is on a 232-acre parcel of land.

The new airport, located in the North Goa district is being developed jointly by the GMR and the Goa Government. The project itself is facing delays and it will take at least 2-3 years for the airport to be constructed and operational.

Previous Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had put forward a proposal to earmark the entertainment zone near Mopa airport as a place to relocate the Goa’s offshore casinos, however no follow-up action was taken by the government.

The government needs to draft and approve its casino policy before any concrete steps can be taken. 

Sawant’s statement comes at a time when the Goa government has come under pressure by the opposition for dragging their feet relocating offshore casinos at the Mandovi River.