Goa casino bill faces BJP opposition

A bill to move Goa’s floating casinos onshore to a gaming and entertainment zone was to have been discussed at a cabinet meeting on Oct. 31st, for passage during the winter session of the assembly, though the move was scuppered due to opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to the Goa Herald, the draft bill was ready, but could not be tabled at the meeting. The BJP got wind of the proposed Gaming Act and are said to have shot down the idea, saying that supporting casinos are not a part of BJP’s philosophy and ideology, the newspaper said.

Moving the floating casinos onshore is likely to be a game changer for gambling in the state, with the country’s largest gaming operator saying it will invest to build a substantial IR in the zone.

The newspaper, which claims to have a draft copy of the bill, says that local Goans would be forbidden from entering the casinos. It also leaves the status quo when it comes to gambling in five-star hotels, which will still only be able to offer slot machines and no live tables. It did, however say that the casinos in the new zone would not be required to be attached to five-star hotels.