India – It is reported today that Pramod Sawant, an Indian politician who is the 11th and current Chief Minister of Goa, has spoken out against a recently enforced gambling ban that sees local citizens barred from entering casino establishments in Arabian Sea bordering region.
Despite such ban being in place since 2012, it is only recently that a new amendment to the legislation is being properly enforced.
However, reportedly Pramod Sawant, Commissioner of Goods & Services Tax and other ministers think that Goa is heading in the wrong direction as they publicly question the move.
Michael Lobo, Indian businessperson and politician commented:
“There are other things in casinos besides gaming. There is music, entertainment, food, etc. Nepal and Sri Lanka have banned their citizens from gambling in casinos. Goans are Indian nationals, so you should not allow all Indians entry while not allowing Goans. This needs to be debated at the highest levels.”
Lobo expanded on his views relating to gambling, particularly on the introduction of a new lottery:
“Today or tomorrow matka will be legal. There will be no ban. It will be legal. It will come under the ambit of law. No one pays GST on matka. There is a huge loss to the government. My request is to let it come under the purview of law and GST should be applied on it.”
Legislator Girish Chodankar questioned the move to amend the gambling legislation in Goa:
“The CM’s announcement of appointing a Gaming commissioner is like throwing dust in the eyes of the people. The law was already amended in 2012 to appoint a Gaming Commissioner, but successive BJP governments did nothing to implement it. The should now answer why despite amending the law in 2012, no rules were notified to allow for appointment of the Commissioner or for the official’s functioning”.