A roulette and chips in a casino.

Parrikar Says No to Local Gambling, Brings Bill in Assembly


If you are a resident of the Indian State of Goa, things are about to get very difficult for you if you love gambling and frequenting casinos. According to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, these goodies will no longer be accessible to the locals. The announcement came on Friday, much to the general surprise of the locals.

Restrictive measures have been imposed in recent weeks on all sorts of goods. For instance, again Mr. Parrikar has decided to outlaw drinking of alcoholic beverages. The latest moralizing move comes in a bid to prevent gambling corruption spreading. However, some wonder whether Mr. Parrikar’s decision don’t stem from his downright aversion towards the segment.

A new gambling area will be created along the Mandovi River urging all casinos to move there. The new designated area will house old casinos which too want to continue operating in the country, including offshore undertakings.

The Sweeping Changes

Mr. Parrikar has talked to media and said that his changes are not going to stop with this. He’s hoping to spearhead more important changes in how the state’s gambling industry is regulated at large. Mr. Parrikar will be passing his proposed draft to the Assembly later in August, allowing himself the legal backing of the lawmakers.

If his bid is successful in the Assembly, Mr. Parrikar will successfully slap locals with the hardly popular ban. The only individuals allowed to continue frequenting such places would be tourists and visitors. Even if the proposed legislation is quite restrictive in its nature, there has been no serious outcry on the part of locals.

Still, Goans are loathe to admit defeat and let the legislators ban all gambling activities in the slightest. Home to almost 2 million people, the state has its traditions with gambling and it would be a difficult fight to slap locals with a ban.

More, all six offshore casinos that operate on boats presently will be asked to move inland. This will not come as a surprise, as they owners will have 12 months from the coming into effect of the law to comply with it.

The licenses will be issued for a few years at end. However, the gambling industry, as outlined by Mr. Parrikar may not be quite safe even after the changes. The zone that is being mulled will be available for a period of 10 or 15 years.

In other words, the property prices in the area and demand for a different kind of facilities may see the resorts close for good in 15 year’s time.
This is a likely scenario, especially if locals aren’t allowed to play and visitors and tourists are not interested or the local government doesn’t advertise the industry. Offshore casinos may need to start diversifying their assets or move their operations to another state and still operate offshore.

The complete picture will be known after the vote in the Assembly where Mr. Parrikar will outline his plan in its entirety and the public will get a better idea of what he’s truly after.

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