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It looks like we will soon be seeing some offshore casinos in South Goa, as the casino boats in the River Mandovi are starting to make a move away from that area. The Ramada Caravela Casino has already left the river and will soon be operating out of either the Zuari or Sal Rivers, with no word yet as to which will be the case. There was a past incidence of locals driving a casino out of the Sal in 2007, and so it looks as though the Zuari is the most likely candidate.

The Delta Corp group were recently given permission to put their six storey Horseshoe casino boat into the River Mandovi, but now they are moving the Caravela because the Horseshoe and its sister boat the Casino Royale are set to take up a lion’s share of the visitors in the Mandovi area. They recently bought Caravela from the Advani Hotels and Resorts group, and now the first boat casino India licensed has been sent to Zuari for a makeover in a local shipyard.

“The ship is being refurbished. The casino section of the ship has been currently taken apart. The Caravela was pulled out of the Mandovi and won’t return there,” sources said. “With two huge casinos like the Horseshoe and Royale doing business in the Mandovi, it makes sense to spread business interests. The Caravela could be headed to the Zuari or the Sal rivers,” suggested another industry insider.

The Captain of ports, James Braganza, commented that Delta Corp could move the Caravela to any river in Goa if they wanted to, as they have the necessary permission to do so. The main issue with the Sal at the moment is that a jetty would need to be built to accommodate the ship, but since it has been taken in for repairs at any rate that should not be a problem at all.

“Casino Caravela has all its permissions in place, including the casino licence. At the request of the Goa government, and with a view to support it in its quest to reduce operations of casino ships in the Mandovi river, we have agreed to move the vessel out to another river in Goa,” said chairman Mody.

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