Goa’s Chief Minister says that “in the days to come” the Indian state is to ban Goans from gambling in casinos located there. A report by the English-language Times Now television channel, on the comments of Manohar Parrikar, did not clarify the timetable for introducing such a ban, how many casino customers might be covered by it, nor how it would be enforced.
The remarks of Mr Parrikar were originally carried on Saturday by India’s Doordarshan News television channel.
Goa is home to several casino boats that operate offshore and several onshore gaming venues at five-star hotels, according to previous media reports.
“It is human nature to gamble that is why we cannot eradicate it completely, but definitely we cannot encourage it,” Mr Parrikar reportedly told Doordarshan News.
He was further reported saying: “That is why we had decided on a policy to ban Goans from going to casinos. A lot has been done about it and in the days to come there will be a complete ban on locals going to casinos.”
Goa’s Chief Minister was also quoted as indicating the state government would relocate some casino vessels from the River Mandovi to another location.
In February 2016 the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – which currently is in power in Goa and is also the governing party at national level – had said it was taking steps to create casino regulations in Goa and set up a regulator for its local industry. Those plans were said to include a requirement that casino customers carry documentation proving they are aged 21 or above.
As recently as July 2016, Laxmikant Parsekar, Goa’s then chief minister, said the economy of the state was “dependent” on casinos.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings