Panaji: Stating that 90 per cent of the activities in the casinos are illegal, the Congress party on Thursday claimed that the casino industry in Goa is causing annual revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the state exchequer.
“Only 10 per cent entry of patrons is shown by the casino operators which clearly gives a picture that 90 per cent activity on the casinos is illegal. Most of the transactions, including buying of gambling chips, are in cash and are not accounted for. There is no accurate reporting of the number of people visiting casinos which is causing a revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore every year,” said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar while addressing a press conference in Panaji.
Reacting to the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s statement that casinos are part of the tourism industry, Chodankar accused BJP of taking a U-turn on the casino issue.
“Casino lobby is so strong that they have complete control over Goa. Every lawmaker has been given an ATM. While BJP was in opposition, it was opposing the casinos, the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had even vowed to finish the industry but he did nothing when he came to power. The new Chief Minister is defending it by saying that it belongs to tourism industry,” he said.
Chodankar lauded Sawant for stopping his convoy on Gaundalim bridge and asking a citizen to desist from
throwing ‘nirmalya’ into the river and questioned why he was not using the same yardstick for casinos who are allegedly discharging sewage in river Mandovi.