Puducherry Chief Minister to explore offshore casinos

Newly appointed Puducherry Chief Minister, V Narayanasamy said there is a possibility that offshore casinos will be allowed in the region, emulating Goa to boost tourism and attract visitors from other states.

In an interview with Deccan Chronicle on Thursday, Narayanasamy said “Tourism is a big focus area for my government and we plan to have theme park, water sports and we will also explore the possibility of setting up an offshore casino like in Goa.”

However, the Pondicherry Gaming Act, 1965 currently prohibits all forms of games of chance, including gaming in common gaming houses or on streets. Any proposal to allow casinos in the Union Territory would require an amendment to the statute by the legislative assembly.

On Sunday, the The Hindu reported that Puducherry’s plan for offshore casinos had already moved forward, with the cabinet holding preliminary discussions on the subject.

“The Cabinet has held discussions on the proposal to start off-shore casinos modelled on the ones in Goa. We are exploring the options to allow them in Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The casinos would be primarily aimed at domestic and international tourists visiting the Union Territory,” said Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao.

According to Malladi, a delegation is set to visit Goa to study their current setup, including their revenue model and other aspects. A proposal would be submitted to the government subsequently, said the minister.