While the demand for fulfilling pre-poll promise to ban all offshore casinos in the state is intensifying, Goa CM Pramod Sawant has justified the existence of casinos in the state and said that they are crucial for fostering tourism.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that he believes that tourism is the backbone of Goa’s economy and casinos attract tourists.
The Chief Minister further explained that the state is benefitting by collecting both direct and indirect revenues from the flourishing tourism industry, thanks to Goa’s casinos.
He also said that now it is up to the stakeholders of the tourism industry in the state and that the government is committed to providing all necessary infrastructure to help them churn optimum benefits.
Commenting on the recent move to make Goa Casinos free from Goans, Chief Minister Sawant said: “I am of the opinion that Goans should not be allowed in casinos. The Goa Gambling Policy makes it clear that casinos are allowed only for tourism purpose and not for Goans to visit. We have to sit and fix a date to ban Goa residents from casinos. They would be barred from entering offshore and onshore casinos.”
Just over a fortnight ago, people in Goa took to streets and protested against the sitting Member Of Pananji Legislative Assembly (MLA), Atanasio Monserrate, who had earlier promised that if elected would shut the casino floating off the shores of Mandovi river in just 100 days.