Congress vows liquor ban on offshore casinos

The opposition Congress on Monday has vowed not to renew the liquor licenses of offshore casinos in Goa if voted to power in the elections next month, local media reports.

“Once we form the government, I assure you we will not renew the excise licences of the offshore casino vessels once they expire on March 31,” said AICC secretary Girish Chodankar.

Last week, the Supreme Court set new rules that bans the sale of liquor within 500 meters of national and state highways. While a number of boat cruises ferrying tourists would be affected by the order, Goa’s offshore casinos in River Mandovi were clear of minimum distance.

However, Chodankar says the AICC will find a way to ban the sale of liquor on offshore casinos regardless.

“The Congress party will take appropriate legal remedies to insulate its decision to ban the sale of liquor on offshore casinos from any legal implications. We will have to make sure that the casino operators don’t challenge our decision in the court,” he said.

The banning of offshore casinos in river Mandovi was one of the prominent promises made by the party in its election manifesto.

Elections will take place on March 11, 2017.