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Indian state declines to issue further casino licenses

Niji Ng

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Indian state declines to issue further casino licenses
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Manohar Parrikar, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Goa, has announced earlier there would not be more casino licenses issued in the state. This will hold for both land-based and off-shore casino license application. He also announced there would be a limit of five offshore gaming vessels and all would shift to land in the next three years.

Goa is one of few states in India that have legalised gambling, but gambling has continued to remain controversial for years now. Making the announcements in the state legislative assembly, Chief Minister Parrikar said that the state’s gambling law which was enacted in 2012 would be changed in the next three months. He added that the government will use the powers allowed in the act to cap the number of casinos in a particular area.

In a statement Parrikar said,

We will use these powers capping the number of off shore casinos in Mandovi river to only five which are existing. The sixth casino will not be allowed. We will delete the clause that allows casino on vessel. The off shore casinos will be given an option to move to land in the special entertainment zone where Goans would be banned from entering.

Parrikar added that an offshore casino operator will need to move to land within the permitted time of three years to continue operations. He said that these offshore casinos would eventually be moved to a special entertainment zone within the state and that consultancy firm KPMG had been tasked with the responsibility of identifying the ideal location for the new special entertainment zone.

Parrikar further assured that the long-awaited appointment of a Gaming Commissioner would be done shortly and he who would act as a nodal officer for all matters pertaining to casinos in the state.

The main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, however, said that the promise to make changes to the law was yet another attempt by the government to fool people since it is a policy and hence cannot be enforced as law.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Shantaram Naik stated that an amendment needs to be made in the Section 13A of the Goa Public Gambling Act, 1976 to define offshore casinos and remove loopholes.

The latest government announcements have come in the wake of fierce protests from opposition parties and the public after a newly-licensed sixth offshore gaming vessel MV Lucky 7 ran aground on the River Mandovi after crashing into a sandbank last week. The Coast Guard had to step in for evacuating a few injured crew members.

 

Source: legalgamblingandthelaw.com

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Asia

Hokkaido’s prospects to win Japanese IR bid in doubt

Niji Ng

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Hokkaido’s prospects to win Japanese IR bid in doubt
Photo Source: ameristar.com
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Harumi Takahashi, the governor of Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan, has announced that she will not be contesting for a fifth term next spring. Her departure would land a serious blow to prospects the prefecture becoming an IR destination.

Her departure means that there will be a new governor in Sapporo next spring. Most likely it will be a contest between a conservative ruling party-backed candidate and a united opposition candidate, though no one has yet declared.

Pro-IR forces are thus losing the power of incumbency in a prefecture in which opposition parties have historically performed better in elections than they do at the national level.

Next spring, the unified local elections will include both the gubernatorial race and the assembly elections. Conservative forces will likely need to win both contests for the IR plans to go forward.

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Operator Donaco to conduct a strategic review

Niji Ng

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Operator Donaco to conduct a strategic review
Photo Source: asgam.com
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Donaco International, which operates of Star Vegas Resort and Club and other locations in Vietnam and Cambodia, is planning to conduct a strategic review of its activities, as its present share price is not in sync with its assets.

In a statement issued last week, Donaco said that it is considering various ways to eliminate or restructure its bank debt and free cash flow to conduct capital management initiatives. The total debt owing is US$39.9m, secured against the assets of the Star Vegas business, not its Aristo business.

It said that discussions are under way with “several parties” who have put forward proposals to unlock the value of the company’s assets and provide value to shareholders. It is expected that the strategic review will be issued in around three months.

The Star Vegas Resort and Club is a casino in Poipet, Cambodia, on the border with Thailand and was established in 1999. It is the largest of the Poipet casino hotels with more than 100 tables and 1400 slots. The Aristo International Hotel is a casino in northern Vietnam, close to the Chinese border, and was established in 2002. It is now a five-star casino resort with 400 rooms.

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Illegal gambling ring collected in Singapore collected $20m in 9 years

Niji Ng

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Illegal gambling ring collected in Singapore collected $20m in 9 years
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An ongoing court case in Singapore revealed that an illegal gambling syndicate had collected between $9.7 million and $20.2 million from its customers in a span of nine years starting from 2007.

Lim Teng Kok, one among the operators, pleaded guilty to three offences under the new Organised Crime Act, which was passed in Parliament in 2015 and took effect in June 2016.

Lim, 68, also admitted to two other charges involving illegal gambling activities.

There were allegedly more than 30 persons involved in illegal remote gambling services. All of them were arrested.

DPP Teo told District Judge Ng Peng Hong: “The accused would get a commission of 10 per cent of the total bets collected from his own punters. If the accused’s punters struck lottery, he would receive an additional 5 per cent of the winning amount.”

She added that Lim later had 80 punters placing illegal bets with him. Over time, he became a “master agent” and recruited a pool of about 15 agents under him. These agents would then collect illegal bets from punters.

The court heard that Lim earned more than $200,000 in commission between 2007 and 2015 in total.

DPP Teo urged Judge Ng to sentence him to five years and four months’ jail with a fine of $288,000. She said the court should send a strong message to deter others from committing similar offences.

Defence lawyer Steven Lam pleaded for his client to be handed a jail sentence of between three years and eight months and four years, with a $200,000 fine. He said Lim committed the offences due to dire financial circumstances and had to raise funds to treat his daughter’s kidney failure.

Lim was offered bail of $15,000 and is expected to be sentenced on Jan 15 next year.

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