Although Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently announced ban on Goans from entering casinos in the state from February 1 2020, his party colleague and State Ports Minister Michael Lobo said that Goans should be allowed to visit casinos as there is a difference between visiting a casino and gambling, as reported by The Times of India.
“There are other things in casinos besides gaming. There is music, entertainment, food, etc.,” he said. He also added that, “Nepal and Sri Lanka have banned their citizens from gambling in casinos. Goans are Indian nationals, so you should not allow all Indians entry while not allowing Goans. This needs to be debated at the highest levels.”
Lobo further said that former Goa CM Manohar Parrikar had amended the state’s gambling law in 2012 after receiving various complaints that gambling has ruined people financially. Many people even took personal loans to gamble, hoping to get rich quickly, only to lose all their money. This forced the former Goa CM to amend the law, which the new government has implemented.
Besides his opinions on casino entry of Goans, Lobo also said that Matka, a form of daily lottery, should be legalised in the state. He said that the state was losing revenue due to the popular, yet illegal, Matka racket in the state, and legalising the game would help add to Goa’s revenue collections from GST.
“Today or tomorrow matka will be legal. There will be no ban. It will be legal. It will come under the ambit of law,” Lobo is quoted to have told reporters as per an IANS Release. “No one pays GST on matka. There is a huge loss to the government. My request is to let it come under the purview of law and GST should be applied on it,” the Minister said.