States want to copy Goa in casino industry: Goa Minister Mauvin Godinho

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Goa Transport Minister and state representative on the GST council Mauvin Godinho on Friday said that the other states which once accused Goa of committing a “sin” for bringing casino industry are now replicating it due to revenues.

Godinho on Wednesday informed that a Group of Ministers (GoM) which was constituted to examine the GST issues in online gaming, casinos, and horse racing is set to meet on May 2. 

Three northeast states including Meghalaya have legalised gambling to shore up tourist income. Karnataka earlier proposed to have casinos in Karwar that borders Goa.

“Other states are also trying it. I know at least another two states which are now trying to put up casinos because they have seen how in Goa the economic wheels are running on the tourism industry with casinos becoming a reality. That means what Goa did in the past and which they thought was a big sin, now other states also want to commit the same sin because it is earning revenue. Everybody gambles. Why do gamble in hiding, do it openly in the casino,” said the Goa Transport Minister.

According to Godinho, the casino industry is intrinsically linked to the state’s tourism sector and is also one of the main revenue earners in the state.

“As you know today in Goa, the casino industry has become one of the main revenue earners. Your flights are coming full, so it is income for the airlines, your hotels are going full, your taxi fellows are able to hire the taxis for people who come to naturally gamble and enjoy entertainment part of it on these casino ships,” Godinho said.