The casino operators in Goa today said the state government’s proposal to bar the locals from entering on-shore and off-shore gaming zones was “unwanted” and would serve no purpose.
According to the Casino Association of Goa (CAG),barely five per cent of those who visit casinos are from Goa.
CAG executive member,Shrinivas Nayak,said the proposed ban had no meaning. “Less than five percent of the customers who arrive at casinos are from Goa,” Nayak said.
Goa has six off-shore casinos and more than a dozen on- shore ones,based in five-star resorts.
The BJP-led government that came to power recently has announced that it would enact a legislation barring locals from entering the casinos,as in Singapore.
Nayak said that a law would only fuel illegalities and bribery. “Some casinos will open backdoors for the locals.”
“What will you do if you get a guest who wants to see how casino looks like? Will you stand on the shore and tell him to go to casino and see by himself because you are barred from entering? There is no logic,” said Nayak,who represents the company which owns one off-shore and five on-shore casinos.
Nayak said that business houses which had cumulatively invested Rs 1,500 crore in casino industry here were on the brink of collapse due to hostile policies of the state.
Goa government had already hiked the licence fee of casinos from Rs five crore to Rs 6.5 crore,he pointed out.