Congress Party calls for Goa casino license auctions

The opposition Congress Party has called on the government in Goa to auction casino licenses instead of automatically granting them to the operators currently running the state’s floating offshore casinos.

“The license should be auctioned, because that is the policy adopted across the country,” Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar, was cited as saying by The Times of India. “Coal blocks, mining licenses and 2G spectrum are auctioned, so why not auction casino licenses too?”

The state government is expected to introduce a draft bill during the winter session of the assembly that would create a gambling zone near the international airport. The existing offshore casinos would be forced to relocate to the area and would be given a 15-year license to operate.

According to Chodankar, the government is losing revenue by failing to hold an auction for the licenses and by failing to properly monitor the activities of existing casinos.

The Congress also alleged that casino operations were a strictly cash affair, and ran counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of cashless transactions.