Goa Ports Minister pitches for expansion of legalized gambling

Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo has made even clearer his view that casino gambling is a benefit to the state in terms of revenue and employment, and that he favors an expansion of legalized gambling.

“I still remember our former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar saying that the state is not dependent on the money collected from casinos. But I am saying the opposite to it,” Lobo explained to reporters.

“We get revenue from the casinos after charging fees for annual renewal of their licence. In addition, we also get revenue in the form of GST from them. Every year the renewal fees is levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration, and others,” he continued.

“It is generating employment for Indians… I would say that more casinos should be introduced in other places like the Chapora River and the Zuari River,” he added.

Lobo said that he understood his view would not be accepted by everyone and that he would be subject to criticism, but that casinos were needed to draw more tourists to the state and the legalization and taxation of Matka, a popular local game, could also be an asset for the economy.

“Introducing casinos in these rivers will help revive the economy of the state. Casinos will come in these rivers in years to come. People will realise it is part of the industry. If you want to grow the industry, then you will have to allow it,” he argued.