Mallya gamble fails; state govt refuses casino slot

UB chairman Vijay Mallya received another jolt, this time from the Goa government, which has rejected his company’s application to start an offshore casino on the River Mandovi.

The billionaire liquor baron who is in trouble due to alleged financial transactions and non-payment of huge debt, has been told that the request for licence to start a casino made by one of his holding company — UB Infrastructure Projects Limited (UIPB) got a no for an answer despite making 16 representations for the casino licence over a span of a decade.

UB Infrastructure Projects Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Breweries (Holding) Limited.

 Additional secretary (home), Sanjiv Gadkar told TOI that, “We have rejected the application of a company linked to Mallya as per the August 14, 2013, cabinet decision.” The state government had decided that no more offshore casinos would be permitted in the state.
Currently, the state government has granted a total of five licences in Goa to set up offshore casinos, out of which four casinos are currently operating. The government has permitted only two operators to run the offshore casino business — M/s Delta Pleasure Cruise Company Pvt Limited, and M V Pride.
In his application for a casino licence, addressed to chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, division president of UB Infrastructure Projects Limited, Govind Tiwari had said that the company would “provide the best offshore casino”, one that would meet international standards and draw in high-end tourists.