Casinos failing to pay dues will be raided: CM
Bill restricting entry of Goans introduced
PANJIM: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar sent a warning to all casino operators who have not paid their licence fees to the Government to do so by August 15 failing which they will be raided without warning.
Parrikar said that operators including guests present in the casino at the time of the raid will be treated as gambling illegally and will be booked with the relevant Section of the Prevention of Gambling Act.
“August 15 is the deadline. On August 16 we will raid them”, Parrikar said adding that he was in no mood to increase the number of offshore casinos in the State and that no more licences would be issued.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited ‘The Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill, 2012’ empowering the Government to restrict entry of Goans in casinos was introduced in the Goa Assembly on Monday. The Bill provides to restrict entry of youth under the age of 21 in the gaming area.
Section 13(G) of the Bill says no person other than a tourist shall have entry to the place or area where the game/games as authorised under section 13(A) are actually conducted.
Through this Bill the Government seeks to have power to notify the total number of vessels which may operate in a designated area. However, it also has provision to transfer the license to any vessel. Section 13(E) empowers the State Government to transfer the license to any vessel or a five star hotel on payment of prescribed fees.
The Bill also seeks to notify designated gaming areas and to incorporate penal provisions for prosecution and fine and provision for compounding of offence. If convicted under this provision, a person will face imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine not less than Rs 10 lakh which may extend to Rs 20 lakh or with both.
It further seeks to vest power in Government to frame rules to regulate and control the activity; power to seal and confiscate. It also has provision to empower the State Government to appoint Gaming Commissioner under Section 13(C). Section 13 empowers the gaming commissioner to compound the offence punishable under section 13(G) and 13(H) in lieu of prosecution by recovering composition fees and to suspend the license till such payment.
If enacted, it will also give power to the Government to notify the designated places or areas for conducting games authorised under section 13(A). It has also provision to empower the Government to confiscate vessel/attach premises.