The confirmation that Goa’s offshore casino industry will be given four years to relocate to land-based facilities should kick-start a ‘transformational’ period in the sector.
The Goan government has long wanted to relocate its casino industry from the Mandovi River to designated land-based zones but hasn’t so far confirmed where they could be.
Union Gaming believes that Goa could mirror the transformation in Illinois’ casinos when having moved on-shore in 200 they record a 25 per cent increase in GGR in their first full year.
It predicts that with ‘quality supply’ Goa’s casino sector could be transformed from a US$200m industry to one generating GGR of US$1bn each year.
Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said: “We believe the introduction of high-quality integrated resort (IR) supply will firmly put India on the gaming map and (eventually) become one of the crown jewels of Asia. Importantly, the government intends to issue IR licences only to those holding existing offshore licences. Delta holds three of these licences, while two are owned by another company, and a sixth has never launched operations. In terms of developing its first IR, not only has Delta purchased a large site near the already-under-construction new airport, they’re also well under way in terms of master-planning the site with a world-renown gaming architect.”
Delta Corp announced profit from operations of INR416.6m (US$6.05m) and revenue of INR1.96bn in its second quarter finances
Mr. Govertsen added: “Upside to our expectations derived from all major reporting segments: casino gaming operations, online gaming and hospitality, with the biggest delta in absolute dollar terms coming from casino operations upside.”
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar wants to ban Goans from the new onshore industry.
“As a policy, Goans will not be permitted to enter the casino playing areas. Only visiting tourists shall be permitted,” Mr. Parrikar said. “A mechanism in this regard will be put in place once the gaming commissioner is appointed and appropriate rules for regulation shall be formulated. Licenses for casino operations being granted in the designated zone can be considered for a tenure of 10 to 15 years taking into account the huge investment required for such projects.”