Karnataka government in favor of casinos in coastal towns

Karnataka’s tourism department is pushing a proposal that would allow offshore casinos in its coastal towns of Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada, local media reports.

The proposal, if approved, would boost tourism and allow the government to earn revenue and create jobs.

The department has suggested the state allow offshore casinos, which could operate from a yacht off the coast, and restrict entry to foreign tourists.

Should the venture be successful, similar casinos could be constructed in Belekeri, Malpe, Tadri and other beaches, which will allow entry to Indians.

Industries minister RV Deshpande, who came up with the proposal, said the plans in Karwar will be soon placed before the cabinet.

However, tourism minister Priyank M Kharge had his reservations. “Two agencies have come forward to run offshore casinos on the lines of those in Goa, but we are treading cautiously. A move to launch casinos may generate opposition since the state has already banned lottery and gambling. In the next few days, we will discuss legalizing offshore casinos,” he said.