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Goa government confused about casino transfer policy; to notify complete casino regulations by March



The Goa government and opposition parties have been engaged in a major war of words over the state’s casino policy for the past few months. In January 2014, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar  announced that the Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Act of 2012 which barred entry of Goan residents into onshore and offshore casinos will be enforced from 1st March 2014 after rules and regulations regarding the same are notified. It was also announced that a Gaming Commission would be in place before 1st March to regulate onshore and offshore casinos.

Parrikar in a media statement said, “Casino rules will be finalised by Feb 28 after which Goans will be banned from entering casinos. Only tourists will be allowed.” Parrikar added that powers and duties of the independent Gaming Commissioner would be decided after extensive research. He added that the Gaming Commission was expected to be in place by March 2014.

However despite this assurance, political parties and social organisations remain unsatisfied with the state’s casino policy and claim that the government is going back on its anti-casino stand.  The latest controversy has arose from the government’s decision that it could allow transfer of casino license to other entities based on certain contingencies but backtracked after opposition from Congress party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and anti-casino NGO Aam Aurat Aamdi Against Gambling (AAAAG).  In a media interaction with journalists Parrikar did not clearly answer a question on the state’s casino transfer policy stating, “I can’t remember what new rules say…Whether there is a provision or not.”

Interestingly, Section  13E of the amended Goa Public Gambling Act states that no person shall transfer a license obtained under provisions of the Act expect with prior permission of the state government on application and payment of prescribed fees. However the exact procedure on such transfer remains unclear and no guidelines have been framed on the issue.

It must be noted that once notified the Goa Gaming Commission would have wide-reaching powers to regulate all offshore and onshore casinos, issue tourist permits for entry to casinos, make rules for transfer of casino licenses and to make rules for conduct of games in casinos.

The exact nature and rules governing Goa’s casino industry and appointment of a Gaming Commissioner is expected to be notified in the next couple of months after which there would be more clarity on the future direction of the gaming industry in the state.

Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.



  1. Ajay

    February 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Mr Jay Satya,
    Hello and warm regards,
    I am a big fan of your site, and I am following the articles published in your site from a year. I know you might be busy and cant reply to each and every persons query. I would really appreciate you, if you clear my doubts on this regard. My doubts are regarding the legalities with respect to gaming/gambling laws in India. I am from Karnataka. My query is as follows:

    Gaming sites like, have been opened up to play Poker, Texas Holdem, rummy etc. These sites offer members to play with real money also. They are also affiliated with major banks to facilitate the required bank transactions for there members. What I wanted to ask you is, can anyone play with real cash on these sites without any legal problems as far as winnings are concerned? I mean are there any legal hurdles if anyone wins money through these sites. I just wanted you to throw some insights on this area.

    Kindly respond and provide knowledge to me as well as others on this point
    Thank you Jay! Have good times ahead.

    • Jay Sayta

      February 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      It is highly unlikely that government will pursue any action on mere players playing on online poker sites located in India and accepting deposits in INR if taxes are paid and there is no other illegal source funds that are utilised or deposited.

      • Ajay

        February 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

        Thanks Jay….thanks for the reply and guidance. So I assume I can play poker with my legal earnings, and if at all I win earn through playing in these websites I can file it in my taxes. Anyways thanks, it was nice having a chat with you.


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