CASINO

Goa chief minister won’t revoke casino licenses; Puducherry wants its own casino

TAGs: Goa, India, puducherry

goa-chief-minister-casino-licensesThe chief minister of the Indian state of Goa says he won’t authorize any more casinos but the ones currently in operation won’t be closed on his watch.

On Friday, Laxmikant Parsekar (pictured) acknowledged that there was a large group of Goans who want to see their state’s casinos closed for good, and he reassured them by saying his government wouldn’t approve any more casino licenses.

However, Parsekar said there was little he could do to undo the state’s current roster of five floating casinos on the Mandovi river, in part because India’s central government “woos investors by organizing so many summits. Therefore, I will not abruptly kick out investors who have invested in our state.”

Parsekar warned that any efforts to revoke casino licenses would result in legal challenges. Besides, Parsekar believes “it would not be right” to take such action because operators “who were given permissions, whose licenses were renewed, who paid money for it … they cannot be told unilaterally that you leave. This is my position.”

Meanwhile, another Indian territory is looking to join Goa and Sikkim as the only Indian states offering casino gambling. On Thursday, V. Narayanasamy, chief minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) on India’s southern shore, said casinos could play a role in his goal of making Puducherry the country’s top tourist destination.

Speaking with the Deccan Chronicle, Narayanasamy said his administration intended to “explore the possibility of setting up an offshore casino like in Goa.” Narayanasamy said he envisioned a “vessel service” that would operate between Puducherry and Chennai with “entertainment facilities” onboard.

The Pondicherry Gaming Act, 1965 forbids games of chance, so Puducherry’s legislative assembly would need to amend the statute for Narayanasamy’s vision to become reality.

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