Goa: GFP president alleges state government hand in operation of illegal casinos

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Vijai Sardesai, the president of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), has claimed that numerous illegal casinos are operating and flourishing across the state with the support of the state government.

He shared a video today claiming it is from one of the illegal casinos running in Pernem. “Today, we have exposed a video where Bailey illegal casino is operating in Pernem. This has been functioning there, and a lot of people are seen in the video. Their faces can clearly be seen in the video footage,” said Sardesai.

The GFP president added, “These are clearly operating with the support of police, and that bribe is being given to someone; as per our information, there is protection to such illegal dens from the ruling party”. He alleged that illegal slot machines are also being offered in these illegal gambling dens and the GFP has requested the Goa police to look into these matters as soon as possible. “How does the Police not have access to such videos, or is there some understanding,” he added to his statement.

The GFP plans to notify these issues to the higher authorities, stating that these illegal gambling dens cause the government to lose massive amounts of revenue as the license fee for providing slot machine gaming onshore can cost well above Rs. 11 crore.

Sardesai has previously questioned Goa’s jetty policy, saying the local fishing communities and panchayats are excluded from it. Importantly, he stated that the jetty policy from the tourism department will act as a gateway to offshore casinos even after acknowledging that it will reduce huge traffic.

In an interview with The Times of India, Sardesai had said, “I feel some issues remain ambiguous. Once a cruise terminal comes into existence, how long will it take for offshore casinos to mushroom in other rivers across Goa?”.