PANAJI: On Friday, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the state government’s Home Department will crack down on gambling activities in the coastal state from Saturday (July 8) onwards.
Sawant said this during a live interaction with the general public through a phone-in programme called ‘Hello Goenkar’ on Doordarshan-Panaji.
During the programme, one Pritam Harmalkar brought to the notice of the Chief Minister that gambling activities are seen operating openly in Ponda, known as the temple town. Harmalkar sought action into the matter.
“Gambling activities like ‘Matka’ are going on openly along the roadside. Recently people complained about mini-casinos, which were raided… but their operations have started again here,” Harmalkar complained.
Replying to him, Sawant said: “Not only in Ponda but action will be taken on such gambling activities wherever they are going on. I am instructing the department to take action from tomorrow.”
Recently, the police took action against illegal mini-casinos which were being operated on the outskirts of Ponda city.
Gaming items and cash were seized during the raid. However, locals are venting anger that the activities have started again.
Sources said that ‘Matka gambling’ activities are being operated in kiosks very near to Ponda police station and other government offices. But no action was taken against them.
“Some have shifted their ‘Matka gambling’ operations from kiosks to the digital modes, where they manage the transaction on mobile phones,” a source said.