The Hindu local media reported that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced on Monday, 24th July, that a new package of legislation will impose tight restrictions on the gaming industry in the area, as all the ship-based gambling activities will be required to move to the mainland and the locals will be prohibited from visiting gambling areas.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar provided some details regarding the new policy, which is expected to be ready by the beginning of the next session. He told the State Legislative Assembly that the new rules will put a cap on the number of the operating casinos and all the “offshore” casinos will be required to relocate and establish their gaming facilities onshore.
Furthermore, he highlighted another important aspect of the new policy, which will outlaw the gambling activities for all the Goan residents. Mr. Parrikar shared his opinion on the issue, comparing gambling with any other addiction.
He shared that he was part of the group of people, who opposed the coming of the casino industry in the area, but there were already some investors, who had bought vessels. Hence, his government was left with no other choices except for welcoming the casino industry in the area.
The introduction of the harsh measures was triggered by the accusations against Goa’s government that it allowed the opening of a sixth “offshore” casino. The opposition made a fuss about the arrival of the casino vessel the MV Lucky 7, which cast an anchor on Miramar beach, waiting for a green light to enter Mandovi river.
In response to the accusations, Mr. Parrikar introduced his new policy, which will not allow the opening of the sixth planned ship-based casino. This, on the other hand, may lead to legal consequences, as the ship-owner Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd will have the right to look for a financial compensation.
The Hindu media also explained that Mr. Parrikar pointed out the Congress as one of the main culprits for the coming of the casino industry in the area, as it gave a green light to the ships to enter Goa’s shores. He further continued that even though his government was against the gaming industry to enter Goa’s market, it could not react in any way as the Congress had already allowed investors to purchase the purpose-built vessels.
Besides the ship-based casinos, there are 9 more brick-and-mortar gambling hubs in the area, which are operating. Earlier this month, it was reported that Mr. Parrikar issued an official written statement to the State Legislative Assembly, in which he explains that the gambling industry does not affect the crime rate and does not unleash any social ills, as well.