Soon, law to arrest Goans gambling at casinos

24 November 2015

From Times of India

Any Goan, irrespective of age, found gambling at casinos in the state will be arrested if the draft rules framed by home department, which already have the in-principle approval of the state government, are vetted by the law department.

There is also a provision to arrest any person under the age of 21 years if found gambling at a casino.

Additional secretary, home, Sanjiv Gadkar said since the draft rules for casinos have received the government's in-principle approval, the file has been sent to the law department for vetting. "Once the law department vets the rules, the file would be put up for cabinet approval," he told STOI.

Draft rules say that Goans working at casinos in the state will not be affected by these rules. Goa has four offshore casinos and over a dozen onshore casinos.

The checks to ensure Goans and persons under 21 years of age are not gambling will be enforced through a gaming commissioner, whose qualification and appointment procedure has been specified in the draft rules. The commissioner will be required to appoint agents to issue the permits that will authorise a person to enter the place or area designated for gambling.

"The permit will be issued based on the identity proof — PAN card, licence, aadhaar card, etc — provided by the person who wants to gamble at a casino," states the draft rules. While this check is expected to automatically keep Goans and those below under 21 years of age out of casinos, the draft rules also state that a competent authority, which will include the police, will also be appointed to conduct regular searches on casinos and arrest anyone below 21 and any Goan found gambling.

In June 2012, the state government passed the amendment to the Goa Public Gaming Act, 1976, by introducing the Goa Public Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2012.


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