For some time now, there has been much controversy regarding the Goa offshore casinos. While there were promises made before the most recent elections that Goa casinos would be closed and the offshore casinos would be asked to relocate, no changes have been made.
Before the elections took place, Laxmikant Parsekar, the chief ministerial candidate at the time, had made election promises in which he had said that he would get rid of all Goa casinos, and would ask the offshore casinos to move away from their current location, and find another area to dock.
Since the BJP-led government came into power, no changes have been made regarding the Goa casinos. Many are not surprised by this since the casinos add around $20 million into the state’s coffers each year. In fact, there are many that would prefer to see the casino industry expand, potentially bringing in more revenue.
Expansion has not taken place because there is still strong opposition coming from the radical right wing, and the pro Hindu sect, both of which have a strong influence over those in the government and would prefer to see gambling eliminated from Goa entirely.
To date, the offshore casinos have not been told to relocate, and are continuing to offer gambling in the tourist-friendly region. The government has concerns that in addition to losing the revenue from the casinos, there would be additional revenue lost because tourism numbers would be drastically reduced if the casinos shut their doors.
Although there have been no moves to shut down the casinos, Parsekar has made it clear that there are also no new casino licenses being granted at this time. Parsekar has not ruled out the possibility of issuing new casino licenses, he has simply noted that it would be carefully considered before any action is taken.