Casinos in Goa to be Closed on Gandhi Jayanti, Says Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

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Casinos in Goa to be Closed on Gandhi Jayanti, Says Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

Representational Image.(Agence France-Presse)

Panaji:  Buckling under pressure from the Opposition, the Goa government today ordered the closure of casinos on Gandhi Jayanti, in deference to Mahatma Gandhi.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said: "The casinos will be closed from midnight today (Wednesday) to tomorrow midnight."

The state has five offshore casinos, and a dozen onshore casinos operating from various five-star hotels.

The Congress has been demanding a symbolic closure of these casinos on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Bars and other liquor selling outlets remain closed on October 2.

Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat called the move "sensible and positive".

"We would appreciate if Mr Parrikar sticks to his own demands, which he had made with respect to casinos while he was leader of opposition," Mr Kamat said.

When in the opposition, the BJP had opposed the casinos and threatened to "throw casinos out of Goa" once in power.

Goa is known as the mecca of nightlife tourism and is emerging as the country's leading gambling destination.

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