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  1. #1

    BJP sweeps Goa polls, change of govt likely to have an adverse impact on the casinos

    This just in and seems to be very relevant to the Poker Crowd of India:
    (The article from the newspaper)

    "In a development that may spell doom for the casino industry, Goa’s state government has witnessed a change with the right-wing alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power by defeating Digambar Kamat led Indian National Congress (INC).

    Though it was the BJP-supported government which had issued the first casino licenses in 1999, the BJP had been fighting the current elections on an ‘anti-casino’ plank. BJP chief ministerial candidate Manohar Parrikar had declared that casinos are a nuisance and promised that offshore casinos would be relocated in the Arabian Sea, five nautical miles away from the shore.

    Reports have indicated that though the BJP is not entirely keen to remove casinos but wants casinos to be bound by strict regulations like banning entry to Goan residents and those below 21 years of age and having limited number of offshore casinos.

    Parrikar had also indicated that casino licenses might not be scrapped due to legal complications like violating license agreements signed by the previous government, though he added that he was not keen on issuing new license or renewing the licenses of offshore casinos.

    Earlier senior BJP leader Fransico D’souza had also stated that the party only has a problem with offshore casinos and not with onshore slot machines. It may be noted that the Goa legislative assembly amended the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976 to allow casinos in 1992 and 1996 when Congress-led governments were in power.

    It would be interesting to understand how the BJP government reconciles between its ideological opposition to casinos and the necessity of having casinos due to its benefit to the tourism industry and revenue to the exchequer. However, one thing is certain- the casino industry shall have to brace for stricter regulations and possibly face shutdown in the near future."

  2. #2
    Hello Rajat, Nice post...
    Per capita Income(PCI) of Goa is Double the Average per Capita income of entire country....
    Moreover PCI of Goa is higher than states like Delhi ,Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana..... Banning casinos will be a Suckers play by Govt. Since average income of locals will reduce..which will adversely effect vote bank of govt. only
    Business will go on if banned from Goa..will move to sikkim or nepal.
    in the poker game of life, women are the rake

  3. #3
    Thnks Mukul

    Cud`nt agree more, Goa`s loss will be Nepal/Sikkim`s gain.

  4. #4
    Casinos in Goa Likely to Face Stricter Regulations

    Casinos in Goa may see tough times ahead due to the recent change in the state government with the right-wing alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power by defeating Digambar Kamat led Indian National Congress (INC).

    BJP has been very vocal on its ‘anti-casino’ sentiment with Manohar Parrikar (Goa CM) declaring that casinos are a nuisance and promised that offshore casinos would be relocated in the Arabian Sea, five nautical miles away from the shore during his election campaign. Reports have indicated that though the BJP is not entirely keen to remove casinos largely due to the legal complications like violation of license agreements with previous governments and the revenue potential from Casino`s as a major attraction for tourists, stringent regulations like banning entry to Goan residents and those below 21 years of age are likely to be enforced along with a stop on the issuance of new Casino licenses.

    The casino operators in Goa said the state government's proposal to bar the locals from entering on-shore and off-shore gaming zones was "unwanted" and would serve no purpose. According to the Casino Association of Goa (CAG), barely five per cent of those who visit casinos are from Goa. CAG executive member, Shrinivas Nayak, said the proposed ban had no meaning. "Less than five percent of the customers who arrive at casinos are from Goa," Nayak said. Nayak said that a law would only fuel illegalities and bribery. "Some casinos will open backdoors for the locals." Nayak said that business houses which had cumulatively invested Rs 1,500 crore in casino industry here were on the brink of collapse due to hostile policies of the state. Goa has six off-shore casinos and more than a dozen on- shore ones, based in five-star resorts.

    In his budget speech, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday reduced the entry fee to offshore casinos from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500, clearly paving the way for increased footfalls to the gambling hubs, but also increased the annual offshore casino licence fee from Rs 5 crore to Rs 6.5 crore. "I propose that the entry fee for both onshore and offshore casinos to be Rs 500. With this, entry fees collected from offshore casinos would get reduced. However to compensate such reduction in revenue, I propose to enhance the licence fee of offshore casinos to Rs 6.5 crore per year, thereby bringing in additional revenue of Rs 9 crore," Parrikar said. Parrikar said he had proposed a reduction in the high entry fee because it "leads to incidents of avoidance of payment of such fees" and there was no government mechanism to regulate and keeps a head count on customers entering the casinos.

    While the casino industry has said the budget was against it, popular perception as well as the opposition suggests that the reduction of the steep entry down to a quarter would increase footfalls at the six operational offshore casinos parked in the Mandovi river, which flows along the capital. A spokesperson for the casino industry in Goa, Shrinivas Nayak, told IANS that the sector was the "unfortunate victim" in Parrikar's otherwise populist budget. "The land casinos licence fee has been increased from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 2.5 crore. This is unheard of. Our fee increase is also not a good sign," Shrinivas said, adding that the increase in entertainment tax from 10 percent to 15 percent would deter investors to invest in Goa, which is evolving as a tourism and entertainment hub in the country. "On one hand they want investors but then they hike taxes like this. This is a lesson for those who want to invest in Goa, perhaps they should think twice now," said Shrinivas, who operates the offshore unit Casino Pride.

    Congress spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu said the reduction of licence fee was an ominous sign for the local population. "They (BJP) have reduced licence fee for offshore to Rs 500. He (Parrikar) wants more accessibility to the casinos for Goan youth. Will the BJP women's wing which had accused the Congress of floating these casinos now oppose their own government and stop youngsters from frequenting casinos?" Deshprabhu said.

    It would be interesting to understand how the BJP government reconciles between its ideological opposition to casinos and the necessity of having casinos due to its benefit to the tourism industry and revenue to the exchequer. However, one thing is certain- the casino industry shall have to brace for stricter regulations in the near future.
    Source: PTI, IANS, IBN

  5. #5
    Goa government likely to introduce amendments by year end to phase out casinos

    In response to a petition filed by the Aam Aurat Aadmi Against Gambling (AAAAG) to impose stricter regulations on casinos and eventually ‘phase out’ casinos, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is said to have assured civil society activists that he is actively working on measures to discourage the casino industry and possibly even phase out offshore casinos in a few years.

    It is learnt from civil society activists who attended the meeting with Parrikar that the Chief Minister responded positively to the demands of AAAAG and told them that he was actively considering bringing amendments to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976 to curb the influence of casinos. It is understood that any amendments or new legislations can only be brought in after July when the Goa legislative assembly commences its monsoon session.

    Chief Minister Parrikar reportedly demanded “more time” to finalise the process and manner of curbing the casino industry and assured action on the matter soon.

    Some of the expected amendments in the Gaming Act could include limiting the entry to casinos to non-residents of the state above 21 years of age and pushing the casinos outside the territorial waters of the Goa, both these plans have been suggested by Parrikar when he was the Leader of Opposition. The vessels housing casinos currently admit all individuals above 21 years of age and are parked in the Mandovi River.

    While it is highly unlikely that the casinos would be banned immediately, one may expect a long-term plan from Parrikar to limit the influence of casinos and eventually phase out the casinos by not renewing their licenses. It may be noted that Parrikar has been a vocal critic of the casino industry and has even demanded the closure of offshore casinos in the past. As evident from the hike in casino taxes and license fees, one may expect further regulations curtailing the casino industry very soon.

    Source: Glaws.in

  6. #6

    Goans banned from entering casinos

    Panaji, July 25 Announcing that a proposed bill seeks to impose a complete ban on the entry of locals into casinos, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said only the tourists checking into hotels will be allowed there. "The casino passes will be made available in the hotels. Those who come here just to play at the casinos will not be allowed. They will have to check into hotel," Parrikar said, revealing provisions under the Casino Bill, to be tabled during the ongoing session of Goa Assembly. The Chief Minister said there will be a complete bar for locals. Even the under-21 years tourists would not be allowed. Those found at casinos without pass would pay a stiff penalty. Parrikar said that the owner too would be fined heavily in such cases. In the recent budget, BJP government had cut the price of casino pass from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500, which drew criticism from the right-wing groups. The coastal state has 14 casinos, six of them off-shore, on the ships anchored in river Mandovi.

    Source : ibn7

  7. #7
    This does not sound right. Def the end of Poker in Goa if enforced strictly imo.

  8. #8
    Parrikar introduces Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2012 to limit influence of casinos


    Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has introduced the Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2012 in the legislative assembly, which is likely to be passed in the coming week. As per promises and representations already made by Parrikar before winning the elections in March 2012, the Bill will limit entry to casinos only to non-residents of Goa and establish a gaming commission to regulate all aspects of offshore and onshore casinos.

    The Bill has made radical changes in the manner of operation of casinos in Goa. The Bill proposes to establish a gaming commission in Goa which would oversee the operations of casinos in Goa and ensure all conditions are complied with. Among the changes mentioned in the Bill are limiting entry to casinos only to non-locals above 21 years of age having obtained tourist permits from the Gaming Commissioner. The gaming commissioner has been given powers to impose fines and initiate prosecution in case of non-compliance of any rules made by the state government.

    Wide powers have been given to the gaming commissioner under the new amendments to oversee all games and activities conducted in offshore as well as onshore casinos. Transfer of gaming licenses except with the permission of the government has been prohibited. Through these amendments, the government may also by notification limit the area on which vessels may be parked for running casinos.

    A copy of the Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2012 is available here.

    Source: GLAWS.in

  9. #9
    Report claims new Casino Bill will affect 90% players, Delta Corp refutes claim of hostile restrictions

    While a report in Times of India has suggested that the new Gambling Amendment Bill passed by the Goa government will affect 90% of the players at onshore casinos and adversely affect the casino industry, Delta Corp (the largest gaming company in Goa with three offshore casinos) officials have claimed that they are not disturbed by the restrictions imposed by the new Goa government. Sources familiar with the casino business in Goa also suggested that the Gambling (Amendment) Bill as well as hike in taxes and license fees would adversely affect the gaming industry in Goa.

    However, Delta Corp the largest gaming company in India refuted the claims of news reports and experts and officials of Delta Corp were unperturbed by the recent developments. Commenting on the restriction of Goan residents to casinos, Manoj Jain, the Investor Relations Officer of Delta Corp said: “We have very few Goan residents visiting our casinos in any case… around 90-95% of the visitors are tourists from other parts of India or foreign countries…so this restriction is not going to impact us in any way…”

    Jain added that while the Goa Gambling Amendment Bill has been passed on 8th August 2012, rules for implementation have not been notified as yet. He further stated that once the rules are prepared and notified by the Goa government and a framework is created for implementing the ban on resident Goans, Delta Corp casinos would fully comply with all regulations.

    On being asked about the impact of hike of license fees and taxes for casinos Jain replied, “While the license fee has been hiked by Rs. 1.5 crores for offshore casinos, entry fee for players has been reduced to Rs. 500 from Rs. 2,000. Thus, there has not been any significant impact due to change in taxes by the Goa government…we are definitely optimistic about the potential for the gaming industry in Goa.”

    Source: Glaws.in (Written By Jay Sayta)

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