Chief Minister u-turns on Gambling Act amendment

Goa’s Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has reversed his position on amending the Goa Public Gambling Act, saying on Wednesday that existing legislation has enough provisions to control these activities.

“There is no need for amending the Gambling Act. In the existing Act itself, there are enough provisions to impose restrictions on the functioning of the casinos,” Parrikar told reporters.

Earlier this year, Parrikar had expressed the need to amend the gambling act with the view of better regulating the casino industry. He said that the amendment is needed to appoint a Gaming Commissioner to oversee casinos operating in the state.

The new amendment would also ensure that no licenses would be issued to new offshore casinos.

Last week, a sociology professor from the Rosary College of Commerce and Arts in South Goa urged the government to tighten up its regulation of the casino sector.

“Goans are aware of the potential negative externalities of casino development and would like them to be contained through necessary safeguards. The establishment of a casino controlling regulatory authority or gaming commissioner is absolutely necessary and the earlier it is established the better it would be,” said Dr. Afonso Botelho.