CM hints at one more offshore casino for Goa soon

CM hints at one more offshore casino for Goa soon

Panaji, Aug 10 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday hinted that yet another offshore casino could be soon added to the fleet of five operational casinos in the Mandovi river off Panaji.

Parsekar said that renewing the licence of another non-operational offshore casino, formerly owned by a company run by former Haryana Home Minister Gopal Kanda, would earn Goa Rs 50-60 crore in revenue.

“It is an old casino. They had gone to court and the opinion given that if he pays the arrears Rs 50-60 crore… I exactly do not know the details,” Parsekar told reporters.

Asked if adding another offshore casino to the existing fleet of five casinos will affect the BJP’s image, Parsekar said: “It is a very old casino. We are taking care to see that the state is also benefitted.”

The opposition said the addition of yet another operational casino in the Mandovi river off Panaji was a sign that the government was being run by the casino lobby.

Leader of Opposition Pratapsing Rane demanded a capping on the number of casinos in Goa while claiming that there were too many casinos in Goa.

Goa has four operational offshore casinos parked in the Mandovi river off Panaji which attract hundreds of thousands of gamblers annually.

Most offshore casinos were set up when the Congress ruled the state from 2007 to 2012.

Ahead of the 2012 assembly polls, the BJP, which led a sustained campaign against the casino industry, promised to rid the river of the casinos if voted to power.

Parsekar said earlier this month that doing away with casinos would send a wrong signal to future investors in Goa.

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