3 Jun 2019 Jonas Lemberg

Amidst govt crackdown on Big Daddy casino, Goa CM assures of policy to relocate offshore casinos

Pramod Sawant

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has told media houses that the proposed Casino Policy and appointment of a Gaming Commission are in the final stages of consideration and will be decided in due course of time.

Sawant in his interaction with the media added that closure of offshore casinos will send a wrong signal to investors and the issue of casinos cannot be decided arbitrarily.

He further stated that once the policy is decided, offshore casinos will be shifted to land and some amendments would have to be done to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976.

Sawant however refused to give a deadline by which the decision to shift offshore casinos and announcement of a new casino policy would take place, adding that finalisation of details relating to the casino policy may take some time.

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In March 2019, Sawant after assuming charge as Chief Minister had stated that he would study the subject of unveiling a new casino policy carefully and revert with his stand in the days to come.

In August 2018, Sawant’s predecessor Manohar Parrikar had announced on the floor of the legislative assembly that the state government would within the next one month, be framing a policy to shift offshore casinos to a designated area on land within the next four years.

Parrikar had also stated that long term licenses of 10-15 years will be granted to casino companies that agree to shift out of River Mandovi.

In the meanwhile, the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) along with newly elected Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate started a crackdown on Haryana politician Gopal Kanda’s Big Daddy casino as well as other offshore casinos, last week.

CCP officials demolished illegal structures and hoardings put up by the Big Daddy casino on the footpaths of Panaji.

The court of the deputy collector and sub-divisional magistrate has also issued a show-cause notice to the manager of Big Daddy casino over noise pollution caused by its floating generator.

Read more about offline and online casinos in India.

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