Goa: Congress alleges state govt works for welfare of casinos, not people

Published on:

The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) General Secretary Vijay Bhike commented on the statement made by Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho relating to the GST Council’s decision to levy 28% tax rate on casinos, online gaming, and horse racing, saying the latter has “fallen in love” with the casino industry.

Mauvin Godinho had said that he would write to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a reconsideration of the Council’s decision.

“Mauvin Godinho should first think in the interest of public and should request his double engine government to lower GST which is levied on essential commodities. Why he is trying to make loss to state exchequer by helping casinos? Has he done fixing with casino owners to get bags,” said Bhike as quoted by Lokmat Times.

He claimed that casino businesses earn very large amounts of revenue which needs to be taxed. Bhike argued that going by Godinho’s statement it seems the state government is only worried about the casinos and not the citizens.

“When the casino lobby in Goa has not come out publicly against the decision of the GST Council, why the government is eager to rush to its help?,” he asked further.

Rather than being lenient on casinos, Bhike said that Godinho should instead focus on giving more subsidy to electric vehicle (EVs) users.

Meanwhile, the online real money gaming industry is heavily opposing the GST Council’s decision (or clarification as it is being classified by the government). However, casino and horse racing operators have not made any harsh comments yet and are presumably waiting for more clarity.

The GST Council has stated that they are not differentiating between games of skill and chance and claimed that the decision was taken unanimously.