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Casino workers call Goa’s Gambling Act ‘inadequate’

Casino employees in the Indian city of Goa have described the Goa Public Gambling Act as "inadequate" to control, regulate and supervise the industry.

In a memorandum to the government, including the chief minister, home minister and the opposition leader, the employees stressed that such a situation would neither help the industry nor the government.

The memorandum states: "There is confusion, and a general assumption, in the minds of many, of wrong-doing. However, merely because the law is inadequate does not warrant assumptions that casinos are committing illegalities. This situation must be corrected, and the only way this can be done is by completely re-drafting the gambling law, as it applies to casinos, in order to set up a system of supervision and regulation, so that clarity, transparency, and confidence replace the present atmosphere of confusion and suspicion”.

"In order to discourage Goans from entering casinos, the government in consultation with the casino operators may introduce a workable method or rule like a 'casino pass' or an alternate ID pass for Goans. Bring in new legislation to control and regulate gambling," the memorandum said.

The employees believe the Goa government had introduced hasty legislations without taking into account its consequences in the long term.

"In Goa, as in Europe, the UK, the USA or in fact virtually everything, hasty legislation is invariably bad legislation. It is usually enacted to deal with an issue of the moment without full consideration of the long term consequences. Entry into casinos, elsewhere in the world, in all but a very small number of jurisdictions, is free. Nowhere in the world are casinos required to impose such an exorbitant entry fee for visitors. Two huge new casinos are being built in Singapore. Very soon Indians are going to find it cheaper to visit Singapore to play than come to Goa," the memorandum added.
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