Subhash Velingkar, former head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) Goa chapter, sharply criticized Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s statement favoring casino and gambling operations in the state when he said that casinos are necessary as they drive tourism.
Velingkar also called for bringing a white paper on the ill-effects of the gambling industry on Goa.
Talking to the reporters, Velllingkar said that “It is a shame that the BJP-led coalition government in Goa is openly backing the casino industry. Since when have casinos become a part of the official tourism policy of the state.”
Earlier during the general elections and the Panjim by-polls, all political parties including the BJP had made a poll promise of shutting all off-shore casinos operating off the shores of the Mandovi river.
Congress has blamed the BJP for not delivering on its promises though it came to power pledging that it would shut all off-shore casinos in the coastal state.
Vellingkar is currently the leader of the regional political party Goa Suraksha Manch.
Demanding a whitepaper on ill-effects of gambling and casino industry in Goa, Vellingkar said: “The government should come out with a white paper and share information about how much income the state earns from the casinos and how many Goans are employed in the casinos. What will be the long-term effect of the casinos on the environment, Goan heritage and Goan identity…”
Also, just as the General elections concluded Aleixo Reginaldo, Congress’ MLA from Curtorim,Goa, alleged that the BJP received funds from gambling and casino operator, Delta Corp., and urged the Election Commission to launch an investigation into what he believes is a part of INR 6,189 crore (USD 880 million) tax evasion.
The legislator claimed that the BJP was paid off by the Delta Corp.for not sending a GST evasion notice. Delta Corp. operates three offshore and one onshore casino in the state.