The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Goa government to keep a strict watch on casinos to ensure they are not used to distribute money during upcoming state assembly elections.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi was cited by local media as saying that the recent demonetization in the economy had reduced bills in circulation and therefore reduced the ability to use cash to influence the outcome of elections. However, he noted casinos were vulnerable.
“We had a meeting with the Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary and have asked them to keep a special watch on the casinos,” local media cited Zaidi as saying. However, he added that casinos would not be shut down unless it was totally unavoidable.
The elections are scheduled to be held early next year. Goa is one of only three states where casinos are permitted in India.