Panaji, Aug 6 IANS | 3 months ago

A Gaming Commission and a policy to streamline Goa's casino industry could soon be a reality, according to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The chief minister said an undertaking has also been obtained from the offshore casino operators to move their boats out of the Mandovi river by 2015.

Parrikar, in a written reply in the state assembly Wednesday to a question asked by Congress member Aleixo Reginaldo, said: "Rules are being framed and the same will be notified and implementation once finalized."

The Gambling Commission is expected to be fashioned on the lines of the Nevada Gaming Commission (which controls gambling in Las Vegas) and will regulate the casino industry, including the percentage the casinos make out of gamblers, besides ensuring a grievance redressal mechanism.

The Parrikar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has committed itself to framing a policy on casinos in Goa, which currently is the only state in India to permit live gambling. The state has five offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos which operate from five-star resorts which dot the coastline.

The BJP, while in opposition, was against the casino lobby and had promised to do away with offshore gambling operations once in power. But now in power it faces accusations from the opposition and civil society groups of being close to the same lobby.

(Posted on 06-08-2014)

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