Impossible to move casinos from Mandovi to the sea: Parulekar

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 28 December 2015 19:58 IST

Going against the assurance of his Bharatiya Janata Party government, Goa’s tourism minister Dilip Parulekar has said it is “impossible” to move floating casinos in the sea.

In an interview to Mid-Day, Parulekar also said the ‘off-shore’ casinos will remain where they are.

It means ‘off-shore’ casinos will be retained on the shore of River Mandovi.

Moving casinos out of River Mandovi was one of the major assurances which brought the BJP to power in 2012.

However, then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (now the defence minister) kept on postponing the deadline of shifting the casinos off the shore.

He also said that the licences would be renewed on a condition of moving the floating casinos in the sea.

But the cat is now out of the bag with Parulekar, the two-time MLA and the tourism minister, telling the truth to a Mumbai-based daily – the Mid-Day.

In fact Parulekar has also said that moving the casinos out of River Mandovi would affect Goa tourism.

The BJP, while in opposition, had made it a moral issue of earning revenue from gambling, taking a position that Goa does not need such kind of immoral tourism.

This is what Parulekar told the Mid-Day:

Question: Have floating casinos been told to operate from the high seas? Will this affect tourism?

Answer: Definitely. They generate revenue, and are flocked by international and domestic tourists alike. Since casinos started in Goa, a lot of people feel they should be moved out to the high seas. But it's impossible because the sea is rough, and there is always a possibility of an untoward happening. The government has decided to retain them where they are. In the long-term, options are being explored to shift casinos to rivers like Sal and Chapora, where they can be moored.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW

Courtesy: Mid-Day

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