first_imgPANAJI: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday declared in the State Legislative Assembly that a new policy would soon cap the number of casinos in a particular area, and that Goan residents would be banned from visiting the gaming areas.Giving an outline of his proposed casino policy, which will be finalised before the next session, Mr. Parrikar told the Assembly that all five offshore casinos currently operating in the Mandovi river would be forced to relocate to land over the next three years. He was replying to queries during a discussion on the 2017-18 State budget. “The Act will have a power to ensure that no Goan can visit casinos. The government will have powers to limit casinos in a particular area. The sixth casino will never enter Mandovi. We are capping it, under this Act, at five,” Mr. Parrikar said, during his nearly one-and-a-half-hour-long address in the ongoing monsoon session.Saying that a casino is as much a vice as liquor, Mr. Parrikar said he too was as opposed to the casino industry as the Opposition legislators, but was forced to allow them to operate because several stakeholders had invested money in vessels. He also blamed the Congress for “creating a fait accompli” on the issue. “We definitely opposed casinos. We also assured that we will cancel licences because that time there were no ships. When any person invests money, a State has a responsibility for continuity, right or wrong,” he said justifying continuation of offshore casinos by BJP governments over the years. He said the policy would ensure that the casinos would relocate from the river to an onshore “entertainment zone”.last_img

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