Free Press Journal

BJP to sneak in casino policy in Goa budget session: Congress


Panaji: The BJP will use the short five-day Goa assembly budget session to sneak in the casino policy that allows for transfer of casino licence, state Congress president John Fernandes said Friday.

Fernandes said the transfer of casino licence clause was being slipped in the proposed casino policy to facilitate the sale of an existing casino licence to a mega corporate entity.

“The transfer of licence clause is being inserted to facilitate the sale of a currently operating casino to another big corporate player,” Fernandes said at a press conference at the party’s state headquarters in Panaji.

The five-day session begins March 3.

Fernandes said the Bharatiya Janata Party had reneged its poll promise of throwing the five operating offshore casinos out of the river.

The Manohar Parrikar government said it will come out with a policy on casinos in Goa, which is currently the only state to permit live gambling.

The state has five offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos which operate out the numerous five-star resorts which dot the coastline.

While Parrikar has confirmed that a gaming commission would be set up to regulate the casino industry, he has neither confirmed nor denied as to whether casino owners would be allowed to transfer licences to new buyers.

The state BJP has already expressed its opposition to the casino licence transfer policy.