Officials Block Opening of Indian Playboy Club

Bob Johnson

PANAJI, India — A "beach shack" technicality has blocked the opening of the Playboy club in the tourist hot spot of Goa, India.

Amid a flurry of controversy from conservative groups protesting the opening on the grounds that it would promote prostitution, vulgarity and other immoral behavior, government officials denied the operator, Mumbai-based PB Lifestyle, permission to open its doors.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state assembly that licenses to run so-called “beach shacks,” could not be granted to companies, but only individuals.

The 22,000 square foot club was set to open on tony Candolim beach.

Michael Lobo, a legislator from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party that has consistently opposed the club, lobbied the government to prevent Playboy from operating anywhere in the state.

Just last week, Lobo threatened a hunger strike until death if the Playboy club was allowed in Goa.

"It is not just a question of permitting Playboy in Candolim. It should be banned across Goa, because Goa should be veered away from international chains which promote vulgarity," Lobo said.

But some locals disagreed with the action.

Agnelo Fernandes, a local Congress politician and supporter of the project on whose property the beach club was to be located told FOX News that the decision was "unfortunate."

"It would have been great for Goa to have an international lifestyle brand. There is no question of vulgarity. Our bunny costumes which we had designed were more sober than the one's worn by the cheerleaders at the IPL (Indian Premier [soccer] League)."

But Fernandes has made two applications to the tourism department — one on behalf of PB Lifestyle and one for himself as an individual that has not yet been accepted.

Sanjay Gupta, PB Lifestyle CEO told the Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time that he was aware of some “technical issues” and that the company will study the license policy over the next couple of weeks before it “reworks” its plans.