Already considered a very controversial item when it comes to Indian politics, the floating casino MV Lucky 7 has unfortunately run aground on the Mandovi river located in the Indian state of Goa.
On Sunday eve, the MV Lucky 7 casino cruise ship got stuck on a sandbar near Miramar beach while it was being towed from Mormugao harbor to its assigned anchoring spot on the Mandovi river.
The MV Lucky 7 has just been launched on the weekend right after the ship's owner Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd received the go signal from the High Court of Bombay to set sail last week.
The Indian Coast Guard was called to airlift four of the ship's 19 crew members, one was reportedly injured while three were described to be suffering from extreme seasickness. The ship isn't taking any passengers onboard yet until it reached its final mooring spot.
Given the impending local monsoon season in the area, many believe that the time of the launching of the MV Lucky 7 was ill-advised. After the ship has run aground, a local said that the ship's crew had made unnecessary high risks because during monsoon season, the Aguada sandbar area is routinely closed off for navigation.
A spokesperson for the opposition AAP Goa party said the government was to blame for the ship running aground, having "overruled" the Captain of Ports' advice about the bad weather. The spokesperson even alleged that this decision of the government was a blatant result of "huge kickbacks" from the gaming stakeholders, and claimed the government "must shoulder the entire blame" for any potential damages to the environment resulting from the incident.
The MV Lucky 7's launch officially makes it the 6th ship among Goa's floating casinos, even though its license approval was resolutely opposed by local anti-gambling groups and opposition parties.
The government is trying to find the casinos a permanent home other than the Mandovi river, but no such luck yet. Recently, the government has extended the deadline for relocating the ships to September 30. Last week, the state of Goa's Town and Country Planning Minister suggested making the ‘offshore' casinos onshore, where an estimated 10 gaming spots are already plying their trade.