Congress slams BJP for delaying ban on Goa’s casinos

Posted On 15 Feb, 2019 0

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, i.e. yesterday, Goa’s Congress President Girish Chodankar slammed the ruling BJP-led coalition government of not keeping its promise of implementing a complete ban on casinos in the popular Indian state.

The Law Commission of India’s report titled ‘Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India’ to the government on July 2018 recommended that legalising betting and gambling in India in the present scenario is not desirable and that a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling must be ensued,” said Chodankar, quoting a previous reply from the Minister of State for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary made in Parliament last year.

The party, through Chodankar, slammed BJP’s Manohar Parikkar, incumbent Goa Chief Minister, for not fulfilling its promise, which was made before the 2012 State Legislative Assembly elections. Goa will be free from casino culture, was the promise made by BJP then. Chodankar said, “If the government is willing to ban casinos, we (the party) will submit the Law Commission’s report to it. Let the government examine the report and ban the casinos.

The Goan arm of the Indian National Congress had also earlier taken up the issue of casinos. In a press conference in December 2018, Congress MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar where he alleged that 3 casino employees were beaten black and blue by their managers. The gentleman even demanded an inquiry into the case from the ruling party, saying, “How can anyone lock employees in a room for five days, beat them up and deprive them of food, holding them hostage?”

Just recently, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar answered in negative to a question by an NCP MLA asking whether there will be new casinos under the tourism master plan that’s being drafted. But the aforementioned master plan or the draft policy includes shifting present casinos to land and creating a special entertainment zone for casinos. Former Infosys Chairman Mohandas Pai also recommended expansion of and said that the state should take inspiration from the already well-established Singaporean casino model.

Goa is a state that has nurtured the casino culture, which also in turn generates lots of tax revenue for the state, so making efforts to stop this isn’t something that’s beneficial to the state. Keep reading for more such updates from the Indian scenario as well as general gaming/gambling industry news from around the world.

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