Goa which is one of the more liberal states in India is about to witness a crackdown on its party and entertainment industry as the BJP government led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar launched a crackdown against rave parties and the casino industry. Parrikar who was elected in March for a second term in office has promised to put curbs on the casino industry going forward and the first step is passing a bill that would restrict locals from entering casinos.
In a statement, Parrikar said “I sincerely believe that gambling is not good. If we can we should remove it from the state. It is human nature to gamble that is why we cannot eradicate it completely, but definitely we cannot encourage it. That is why we had decided on a policy to ban Goans from going to casinos. Lot has been done about it and in the days to come there will be complete ban on locals going to casinos.”
Parrikar has been accused in the past by the opposition party, the Indian National Congress as well as religious groups of siding with the casino industry and allowing them to operate in the state. The chief minister had allowed offshore casinos operating on the River Mandovi to continue their operations after their attempts to re-locate to another site failed. He also renewed their offshore casino licenses in 2016 and did not let the anti-gambling opposition to influence his decisions at that time.
Things have apparently changed for the Parrikar led government in the second term as he is now determined to once again re-locate the offshore casinos on the River Mandovi. The chief minister has also stated that since investors have poured in a lot of money into the Goa’s casino industry, he will not immediately shut down the casino industry but going forward his government will take steps to curb gambling in the state and the first step would be a ban on locals.
Goa thrives on its tourism and entertainment industries as the state attracts thousands of domestic and international visitors every month. Both industries are responsible for generating millions of dollars for the state but Parrikar has decided to crackdown on both industries. His government also announced that they would target rave parties in the state and not allow music to be played after 10 pm as per state law.