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15 Apr 2022

The Goa state government has directed La Calypso Hotel Pvt Ltd to stop its casino operations for failure to pay dues of over Rs 47 crore and for subletting the casino reported Times of India. La Calypso operates a 5-star hotel that has a casino within the premises.

Also read: Casinos on Goa, Karnataka minister proposes

Goa casinos which restarted in September last year after a long Covid19 break owe Rs. 359 crores in outstanding annual recurring fee (ARF) to the state government as of last October. On October 5, the government issued a notification stating the schedule of payment for unpaid ARF for May 2021 to September 2021 will be specified along with the payment schedule for April 2020 to October 2020.

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As per under secretary (Home-I) Pritidas Gaonkar’s order, La Calypso licensee will also have to pay “penal interest for delayed payment calculated at the rate of 18% per year...within 15 days of receipt of this order, failing which the amount shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue”.

TOI reported that the licensee was directed to pay the first instalment of over Rs 17 crores upfront and the remaining amount of Rs 10 crore in six months or earlier, within seven days from the date of issue of challan, failing which penal interest was to be charged. 

Also read: GST council reconstitutes GoM to look into taxation of gaming

“Both challans were issued to the licensee. However, the licensee has till date not paid Rs 10 crore along with applicable penal interest. Further, the licensee has also defaulted in the payment of the annual recurring fees from the month of November 2020,” Gaonkar was quoted. 

Responding to a show-cause notice for non-payment of outstanding dues to the government, the CMD of La Calypso Hotel Pvt Ltd, Kaushal Khanna, submitted that the licensee had given the casino operation to M/s Atlantis Entertainment and later to M/s Beyond Motion India Pvt Ltd From November 2020 to September 2021 the casino was closed on account of Covid restrictions imposed. 

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The licensee has requested that the dues be recovered from Atlantis Entertainment and Beyond Motion India Pvt Ltd. Gaonkar in his order stated that there is no provision to sublet casino operations to a third party, and as such is in violation of the provisions of the Goa Gambling Act, 1976. 

“Considering all facts, the government is satisfied that the claims made by licensee are not justified and in view of the condition the license issued to M/s La Calypso hotel Pvt Ltd stands suspended with immediate effect,” Gaonkar was quoted in media reports. 

Stating licensee is willing to pay the necessary fees but “prays that a humanitarian approach be adopted and his case be sympathetically considered”, the CMD of La Calypso Hotel Pvt Ltd further submitted that Beyond Motion India Pvt Ltd had agreed to pay the fees from the month of October 2021, which till date has not been paid. 

“M/s Beyond Motion India Pvt Ltd shall be held responsible for the said payment,” Khanna was quoted as saying by TOI. Requesting that over Rs 27 crore be recovered from M/s Atlantis Entertainment, Khanna submitted that an amount of over Rs 17 crore was paid by M/s Atlantis Entertainment and the remaining amount of Rs 10 crore was forcefully pushed on the licensee for payment, which was illegal and arbitrary.

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