The Ponda police booked a 39-year-old individual named Praveen from Maharashtra for allegedly running a ‘mini casino’ involving computer games and online gambling in his shop.
During the raid on Wednesday evening, the police recovered over Rs 2 lakh in cash as well as several gaming equipment during the two-hour operation. The shop is situated along the Bethora-Ponda route near Sapana Park, next to Laxmi Restaurant.
The raid took place after several parents reported that their children had lost money on illegal gambling. This matter was also brought up in the most recent Curti-Khandepar Gram Sabha, where the locals denied granting approval for the business and highlighted their concerns regarding the establishment of a small casino.
As per Herald Goa, the Ponda police are currently probing the matter further after the investigations pointed towards the possible presence of similar establishments.
Reports regarding the operation of illegal gambling establishments in Goa have been surfacing since the past few months. The president of the Goa Forward Party, Vijai Sardesai claimed in April that these illegal casino operators had started their operations after shutting down for a short period of time.
“The illegal casinos operating in Goa are all back after shutting down briefly during the Assembly Session where I raised the issue,” said Sardesai.
The Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant, however, had announced that strict actions would be taken against these illegal gambling establishments. Moreover, during his Budget speech in the Assembly on March 29 he had announced that the state would introduce new regulations including for offshore casinos.