Goa hikes entry fees to casinos ten times - Tuesday 28th of July 2009

In a bid to dissuade youths from visiting off shore casinos, the Goa Government on Friday increased its entry fees by ten times and also hiked the fee to procure license to serve liquor on the floating gambling houses.

While the entry fee has gone up from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000, the license fee has increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 10,00,000. Presenting the additional budget, Goas Chief Minister, who also holds the Finance portfolio, termed the decision to hike the entry fee as a step to discourage the youths from falling prey to the lure of casinos.

“Youth are the future of the state and we do not wish that they spend their money in casinos and fall prey to the vices of gambling,” he said. Mr Kamat said the increased entry fee would add Rs 36.50 crore annually to the state exchequer.

The budget also proposed to increase the license processing fee for retail sale of liquor on vessels or crafts used for the purpose of gambling and having license for casino from Rs 25,000 to Rs 10,00,000.

Goa has five off shore casinos in its waters which have come under scanner time and again from several NGOs and Opposition members. The Bharatiya Janata party, which had led a scathing attack on government for allegedly patronising the casinos and demand ing their closure, said these measures would not dissuade youths from going to casinos.

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