Govt. may reconsider Goa tax hike

Goa’s government may reconsider a plan to hike casino fees by as much as 4.5 times following a petition from operators, local media reports.

Chief secretary Dharmendra Sharma has forwarded the operators’ representation to the finance department to assess the demand.

To increase the state revenue, the government hiked the casino licence fees by up to 4.5 times. The finance department order came into effect from April 1. Goa has six offshore casinos and nine land-based casinos. The order will increase the annual revenue by approximately Rs 150 crore ($23 million).

Offshore casinos with a passenger capacity of over 400 will see the annual license fee increased to Rs 40 crore, up from the existing Rs 12 crore.
For offshore casinos with passenger capacities between 200 and 400, the fee has been increased to Rs 30 crore per year, up from 11 crore, while vessels with less than 200 in passenger capacity will now pay Rs 25 crore, up from Rs 10 crore.
Onshore casinos also saw an increase in annual fees, paying Rs 50 crore per year, up from Rs 20 crore.

Other fees increased in a similar fashion include license application fees, transfer license fee, license renewal fees, and an increase in the non-refundable security deposits which are required when a new license is granted.