Expressing surprise over a newspaper advertisement seeking staff for a new casino in the village, Candolim sarpanch Blaize Fernandes said that the panchayat has been fighting a legal battle since 2014 against the first casino operating illegally in the village. The panchayat has already revoked the licence of the casino but it is still operating, said the sarpanch.
As per panchayat sources, Candolim panchayat has taken a stand not to issue licence to operate spas and casinos in the village. A resolution in that regard had been passed.
It was stated that Candolim panchayat took the stance after realising how Calangute village has been suffering due to numerous spas and casinos operating there.
Sources from Candolim panchayat said that many instances have come to their notice wherein how families have got ruined due to gambling in casinos and other such activities. They said such families had to sell their properties, houses to pay off casino debts and, hence, the panchayat has taken a stance to stop this social evil. Even licences to spas are not issued as they double up as prostitution dens, the panchayat sources stated.
Speaking to this daily, the locals claimed that casinos were operating in the constituency due to blessings of the people in high positions. “Our voices against casinos have fallen on deaf ears,” they said.
They said the new casino is going to be the fourth land-based casino in Calangute constituency, with one operating at Ximer-Arpora, the other at Baga and another at Candolim-Dando waddo and now the fourth one at Anna waddo in Candolim.
Sarpanch Fernandes, speaking to this daily, said that the panchayat has no knowledge on the licence issued to the second land-based casino in the village, adding, a resolution along with the newspaper advertisement cutting will be sent to the chief minister urging to revoke the licence.
“We conducted a site inspection, but the management told us that the casino is for the guests and not for outsiders,” said Blaize.