If casinos are shut down, there will be no impact on tourist numbers: Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte

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Goa’s tourism minister Rohan Khaunte questioned the need to have casinos in the state to boost tourism. He also raised the question about how much they have benefited the state.

“Casinos are not needed for tourism in the state, but unfortunately tourism is currently dependent on casinos,” he said. Khaunte believes that there will be no adverse effect on tourism if casinos are shut down.

Furthermore, he revealed that they are planning to promote green tourism in the future along with making an ‘Entertainment Zone’ or ‘Party Zone’ in Goa, a concept in line with Bali, Indonesia.

Khaunte tried to support his no-casino argument by talking about the new Shacks policy which can provide employment opportunities. Under the policy, unemployed individuals of Goan domicile can operate temporary beach shacks during the peak tourist season from September 1 to May 31. “It does not matter if Goa have casinos or not, we will do what’s best,” Khaunte further said in an interview with Gomantak TV.

Goa is one of the biggest tourist hubs in India and the presence of casinos is one of the reasons for it. These legal casinos attract tourists, providing the small state a lucrative source of revenue.

However, in recent days, one of the biggest operators, Delta Corp received a tax notice from GST intelligence to the tune of Rs 16,822 crore. It is likely that other operators may also receive one in the coming days which can disrupt the operations entirely.

The GST authorities are on a tax notice issuance spree, demanding online real money gaming companies to pay respective dues based on retrospective taxation.