Goa’s casino field is set to be subjected to a thorough inspection in the as to guarantee its integrity and reliability. The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee announced this Monday that the casino industry will have to be subjected to an extensive examination in relation to the ineffective manner in which gaming revenue is utilized by the state, leading to losses amounting to more than Rs 4,000 crore (approximately US$548,280,000) on an annual basis.
These past several days have been heated for the state of Goa, one of the locations which offer legal casino gaming within the borders of India. However, over the span of the past several months more and more instances of improper regulation and illegal operation have emerged further shaking the unstable field.
It could be recalled that this June witnessed the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence requested that a tax on gambling license fees is paid by ten gambling venues in operation in Goa. For three years they had been evading said tax payment.
Field Integrity Under Scrutiny
This and other instances have shown that regulation of the field leaves a lot to be desired. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has previously stated that the gaming operation in the region should be conducted in a cashless manner, but reality shows that venues have implemented cash in their operation for the most part.
This, in turn, leads to less security and transparency when it comes to the transactions occurring, which adds up to the issues. Girish Chodankar, President of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee stated that according to estimations made, the field manages to lose somewhere between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 crore over the span of a single year as a result of the said manner of operation. The generally lax policy when it comes to monitoring of casino operation has led to this status quo.
This could be easily prevented through the implementation of electronic money transactions which will result in a see-through manner of gaming operation, thus preventing any cash leakages and harm being done to the community. Upon thorough examination, the overall amount of money slipped through the cracks amounts to some Rs 24,000 crore since the year 2012. This considerable amount of cash could have been better utilized through reinvestment in the state and the boost of various initiatives and programs.
New Regulation Well on Its Way
In addition to that, Monday also brought the official position of the Congress when it comes to recently issued plans for coastal gaming hub on the banks of the Mandovi River. According to the Committee, the entire process should be auctioned, providing all parties interested an equal chance of claiming a spot in the future gaming area. Officials condemn the current possibility of off-shore casino operators obtaining permits for land-based operation without a bidding process.
Mr. Chodankar further stated that the new bill named Goa Public Gambling Restriction Bill aiming to bring the innovation to the existing set of rules could be qualified as a fraud. If it receives green light it will provide the area in the vicinity of Mopa Airport to welcome brick-and-mortar casino operation. The international airport itself is currently being constructed and its projected launch of operation will be in September 2020.
It will come with the capacity to handle up to 30 million passengers, therefore turning into the prime airport of the State of Goa operating in parallel with Dabolim Airport. A constant flow of tourists will be able to provide the new gaming zone with gaming patrons, but the GPCC President remains skeptical of the new Bill. It will be reviewed in the winter session of the State Legislative Assembly.