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Bandekar to be first gaming commissioner



Stating that GST commissioner Deepak Bandekar will be the first gaming commissioner of Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that Goans will be barred from visiting the offshore casinos from February 1, 2020.

“A notification to this effect will be issued by January 31,” he added. The appointment of the gaming commissioner is expected to regulate the casino industry in the state.

Speaking to media persons after the Martyr’s Day function at Azad Maidan, Sawant said that he had given an assurance to the state legislative assembly during its 2018 monsoon session as regards barring Goans from entering the off-shore casinos.

“As a follow-up to this assurance I have already moved a related file,” he informed.

Sawant, who also holds the home portfolio, said  the government has decided to appoint the goods and service tax commissioner as the gaming commissioner from February 1.

“Once the notification of this appointment is issued, the Goans will  be automatically banned from visiting these casinos,” he noted. 

Sawant said  the gaming commissioner will have

the powers to visit the offshore casinos at any time of the day or night, and conduct inspection of the visitors to these casinos.

“He will be empowered to seek identity proof from any visitor to the casino, to ensure that no Goan has entered the same,” he added.

Sawant also said the government will subsequently finalise the mechanism of the state gaming commission by formulating its guidelines, rules and regulations.

“In fact, the gaming commissioner will be authorised to take all casino-related decisions, as also in-charge of drafting the rules and regulations of the gaming commission,” he mentioned.

The gaming commissioner is also expected to appoint casino inspectors to assist him.

Sawant while speaking in the state legislative assembly, during the debate on the demands for grants for home department at the 2018 monsoon session, had said, “I am of the opinion that Goans should not be allowed in casinos. The Goa gambling policy makes it clear that casinos are allowed only for tourism purpose and not for Goans to visit.”

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