Goa opposition alleges corruption over casino extension

National Secretary of the Congress party, Girish Chodankar is alleging foul play in relation to the extension granted to offshore casinos in Goa, local media reports.

“Besides granting extension of one more year to operate in River Mandovi, the Rs 25 crore deal also includes allowing fifth offshore casino”, alleged Chodankar, the AICC general secretary.

The secretary further alleged offshore casinos were under reporting entry fees and entertainment tax, causing the state to lose over Rs 5,000 crore per year in revenue leakages.

Last week, Goa’s chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar announced the deadline for the shifting of casinos from the River Mandovi was to be postponed “until suitable alternative sites are finalized”.

The move sparked rage from the opposition, who said the postponement was a clear case of “back-stabbing” the people of Goa.

“The BJP government today has crossed yet another milestone of shameless U-turn on its own promise with this decision, which bolsters our belief and claim that the BJP government is run by the casino lobby,” said Congress general secretary Sunil Kawthankar.

According to the Navhind Times, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar also said that the government is contemplating allowing the offshore casinos to shift their operations onshore as one of the options given none of the rivers had offered a feasible location.