Goa casinos to have a Commissioner

PTI, PANAJI | 14 November 2013 21:05 IST

A gaming commissioner may soon be appointed in Goa to oversee the functioning of casinos.

The Goa government would be finalising the rules under The Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Act in the next fortnight, which would enable the appointment of the official.

The state legislative assembly in August 2012 passed the amendment to The Goa Public Gambling Act.

"Once the rules are finalised within 15 days, it will pave the way for the appointment of Gaming Commissioner, who will have the right to oversee the functioning of the casinos," a senior state home department official said.

The commissioner could be anybody with knowledge about the casinos and gaming business, and he or she need not be a government servant.

Goa has five off-shore casinos (on boats) and over a dozen onshore casinos at the five-star hotels.

The rules will also define the places where off-shore casino vessels can be anchored.

The vessels are currently anchored in river Mandovi. Government has already resolved to shift them away into the sea within next two years.

"The rules will incorporate the state cabinet's decision to shift them away from river waters," the official said.

Home ministry officials have been holding meetings with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to finalise the rules, which will regulate the casino business.

Casinos have been operating in Goa since mid-90s.

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