PORVORIM: Believe it or not, the casino industry, which the State government claims to be the highest revenue grosser for the State of Goa, owes the exchequer an amount of Rs 321 cr.
Shocking but true, as per the written reply given by the State Chief Minister Dr PRamod Sawant, The total outstanding dues payable to the Government amounts to Rs.321,66,66,668/- (Rupees three hundred twenty-one crores sixty-six lakhs sixty-six thousand six hundred sixty-eight only).
The Home Minister said that due to the lockdown and shutting of Casino operations due to Covid19 pandemic, the ARF for the F.Y. 2020-21 was collected on a monthly pro-rata basis for the period w.e.f. November 2020 to March 2021 as per Notification No. 21/5/2020-HD(G)/2425 dated 03.11.2020.
Raids on Illegal CasinosDuring the period from 2019 to 2023 up to 13/03/2023, two cases have been registered by the Police Department, CM informed the House.
“Since one case is under the stage of investigation and the other is under the stage of trial before the Court, the copies of case papers cannot be furnished as per Rule 37(20) of Procedure & Business of Goa Legislative Assembly,” he said.
CM said the department has received 02 complaints as under: 1. From Shri Sudin Salgaoncar vide his letter dated 16/12/2019 regarding illegally allowing casino in M. V. Lucky 7. Captain of Ports Department vide letter dated 30/06/2021 has submitted their comments in the matter. The complaint is under examination. 2. From Janardhan S. Bhandari vide his letter dated 12/09/2022 regarding memorandum to expose illegal Gambling activities of on-shore casino operators by mis-using 2/3 times more area than the “Licensed Area” for casino activities in order to minimize the License fees, thereby cheating & causing huge revenue losses to the Government & also playing live games illegally like Indian Flush, Rummy etc.
The matter is under examination.