Panaji: After its 'no late night parties in Goa' diktat, the state government is now planning to make the casinos out of bounds for Goans. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the government is mulling ban on entry of locals to casinos. "Gambling is not good. If we can, we should remove it from the state," he said. But he was quick to add that "it is human nature to gamble that is why we cannot eradicate it completely".
Mr Parrikar also said the government will relocate off shore casino vessels from River Mandovi to another location. The government will not shut down the casinos immediately, as some companies have invested a lot in them, he said.
This comes after Mr Parrikar's promise to enforce the long-ignored ban on loud music and late-night dance parties after 10 pm. "There is a legal ban on holding parties after 10 pm. The ban will be upheld by the state government," Mr Parrikar said on Thursday.
The government has pegged its anti-casino and -late night parties stance on the "degeneration of Goan culture" that these allegedly promote.
Goa has six casino vessels and about a dozen onshore casinos that operate out of five star resorts which contribute about Rs 200 crore a year to the state revenue.
The government's decisions are surely going to impact bars, clubs and casinos in the coastal state. Then there is the Supreme Court ban on sale of liquor along state and national highways and the crippled mining industry, but Mr Parrikar has ruled out the state will face any financial crisis.
"We have projected 11 per cent GDP growth in the recent budget, but I feel we will go up to 14-15 per cent. GST regime will help Goa as it is a consuming state. Tax and services contribute to the revenue. Also, I don't think the liquor ban will have much impact on revenue. We will find a solution for that. We are also trying to rehabilitate establishments which are affected by the Supreme Court order," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)