Goa Ports Minister favors legalized gambling

Michael Lobo says that legalizing and regulating gambling could drive employment and boost tax revenues in the state.

India.- Goa Ports Minister, Michael Lobo, has called for gambling to be legalized and regulated in a bid to drive employment and tax revenues in the state.

“I still remember our former Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, saying that the state is not dependent on the money collected from casinos. But I am saying the opposite to it,” Lobo said in a press conference.

“We get revenue from the casinos after charging fees for annual renewal of their licence. In addition, we also get revenue in the form of GST from them. Every year the renewal fee is levied by departments like Excise, Food and Drugs Administration, and others,” Lobo explained.

“It is generating employment for Indians… I would say that more casinos should be introduced in other places like the Chapora River and the Zuari River,” he added.

The Minister said he accepts that his point of view will not be accepted by everyone but that he believes casinos can drive more tourists to the state. He also supports the legalization and taxation of Matka, a popular local game, that could also help grow the economy.

“Introducing casinos in these rivers will help revive the economy of the state. Casinos will come in these rivers in years to come. People will realise it is part of the industry. If you want to grow the industry, then you will have to allow it,” he concluded.

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