Goa’s Floating Casinos Will Pay More for Mooring


Differentiated Rate Slabs Introduced for the First Time

Goa’s Captain of Ports (CoP) Department has introduced five categories of vessels, each to attract a different rate slab for the monthly mooring fees and jetty rental charges. If the proposal gets approved by the government, the move will abolish the previous uniform rate of Rs. 10 per sq. m per month that was valid for huge luxurious casino vessels and small fishing boats alike. “Earlier there were no slabs and all vessels paid the same amount of Rs 10 per sq m,” CoP Shri Vikas S. N. Gaunekar said.

Floating casinos and restaurants fall within the highest rate slab and will now have to pay Rs. 500 per sq. m. for mooring in Goa waters and Rs. 400 in mooring fees for a floating jetty, while all other types of vessels will pay only Rs. 50 per sq. m. Rental charges for the use of jetty space are also getting a massive hike. Office space rental will now cost Rs. 3,000 per month for an offshore casino, Rs. 100 for river cruise operators and Rs. 50 for fishing vessels.

Goa Players Flock to Online Casinos

Access to the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos of Goa has been anything but granted for the last three years for the residents of the coastal state. When the casinos were not closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, the state government’s old idea to ban Goans from entering the local casinos got reactivated, and it is no wonder people flocked to online casinos.

A recent research paper on “Goa Casinos and Their Influence on Indian Gambling Culture” by India Casino Online has established that the small coastal state generates more than two times bigger traffic to online casinos than the size of its population would suggest.

“We have analyzed aggregate India Casino data for six months of user visits – including conversion rates and user experience (UX) in terms of device and session indicators. Segmented by state, the figures show that Goa has more than double the proportional visibility (0.23%) compared to its population size of just 1.5 million (0.1% of the Union),” . The new mooring fees and floating jetty rental charges for Goa’s offshore casino venues will probably not ruin their business, but can easily make offline casino entertainment even more inaccessible for the regular citizen of the state.

For several decades casinos have been a major pillar for Goa’s economy, bringing in numerous direct and connected jobs, massive waves of tourists, and generous contributions to state coffers in terms of corporate taxes, GST, gaming and liquor license fees, and port charges. We can only hope that the new charges proposed by the Captain of Ports Department will not kill Goa’s cash cows and the local casino establishments will be able to continue business as in the years before the pandemic.