Casino industry lure: Other states want to copy Goa’s ‘original’ sin, says Minister

Panaji, April 29 (IANS) Other Indian states now want to commit the same sin Goa committed and are trying to replicate a casino industry, because it is revenue earning, state Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho has said, adding that when one can gamble openly in a casino, there is no need to do it in hiding.
“Other states are also trying it. That means what Goa did in the past and which they thought was a big sin, now other states also want to commit the same sin because it is earning revenue. Everybody gambles. Why gamble in hiding, do it openly in the casino,” Godinho told reporters here.
The Transport Minister also said that the casino industry is intrinsically linked to the state’s tourism sector and was responsible for a significant spill over effect on the other sectors.
“As you know today in Goa, the casino industry has become one of the main revenue earners. Your flights are coming full, so it is income for the airlines, your hotels are going full, your taxi fellows are able to hire the taxis for people who come to naturally gamble and enjoy entertainment part of it on these casino ships,” Godinho said.
“I consider it as an integral part as far as tourism is concerned. Maybe people used to view it differently in the past, but now there are other states vying to do similar things. I know at least another two states which are now trying to put up casinos, because they have seen in Goa how the economic wheels are running related to (the) tourism industry with casinos becoming a reality,” the Goa Minister also said.
The state has around six operational offshore casinos parked in the Mandovi river off Panaji, while around 10 onshore casinos function from the numerous resorts dotting the state.

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