Goa: Congress leaders ask govt to shut down illegal onshore casinos hosting live games

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Goa Congress leaders Janardan Bhandari and Elvis Gomes have submitted a memorandum to the state government, asking for immediate shut down of illegal onshore casinos that are hosting live games.

“We have repeatedly brought to the notice of the government authorities the various illegalities of playing non-allowed online/live gaming/poker games in Onshore Casinos. In our first memorandum submitted on 04/07/2022, we had cited in detail illegalities in 3 Onshore Casinos & Cadillac Casino was one of them, but govt. Authorities preferred to neglect our memorandum,” the memorandum contained according to Goemkarponn.

A recent incident relating to Cadillac Casino was also mentioned by the party leaders wherein the casino filed a complaint against its staff and customers for cheating. The leaders stated that it shows that there is “Casino Raj” in Goa and it has turned into a lawless Las Vegas.

According to Bhandari and Gomes these onshore casinos do not have a full-fledged license and are operating illegally on provisional ones. Moreover, they alleged that these casinos are not complying with the rules laid down by Home Department, PWD.

“Though live gaming is not permitted in Onshore Casinos, to attract customers, these Onshore casinos are openly engaged in illegally running live gaming without fearing for govt authorities,” they wrote.

Along with these illegal live games, the duo said that they have learnt of these onshore casinos having a large racket linked to them. Last year, the Porvorim police had arrested three people for running an illegal online poker activity and for links with a hawala-based money laundering racket.

Several reports of cheating and fraud cases have also been registered with the police. The leaders also mentioned that casinos (online and offline) have refused to pay the winners in the past and even used force to remove them from the premises.

The memorandum also stated that a notorious criminal is said to be organising illegal poker games at Cadillac Casino. With several international gamblers visiting on a daily basis, the partly leaders asked the state government to set up an investigation agency to look into various alleged money laundering cases.

Further, they asked the state government to cancel the provisional license of Cadillac Casino in order to curb illegal gambling activities while also suggesting them to scrutinize the CCTV footage from last six months for illegal activities. If found violating the law, the party leaders demanded to impose heavy fines on the casinos and register cases against them.

“We demand the Government to take necessary action against this violator within the next 15 days, failing which we will come on the street to protest against such fraudsters & even will not hesitate to march towards such casinos to prevent open loot of public money,” they added further.