It looks like the end of unlimited casinos in the Indian state of Goa, as chief minister Manohar Parrikar made a statement recently that the government wants to place tighter restrictions on casino gambling games and to regulate gambling operations in the state more closely, through the creation of a new gaming commission that will look into all areas of the industry.
The days of gambling roulette and other casino table games as casually as you like are coming to a close in the state, if this legislation goes ahead. Parrikar described the proposal as “comprehensive”, suggesting that there will be new regulations when it comes to such areas as using private chambers or rooms for particular games, having female employees, and the software within gaming machines, seeking to standardise the calibration equipment.
There are apparently a total of sixteen licensed casinos in the state, five of which are offshore, which means that this new commission will really have some impact on Indian gambling. While there are no estimates out there as to how many Goans actually visit these casinos, they do see a large revenue that suggest steady footfall, whether from inside the state or from interstate or international visitors. The suggestion was made that not all of them are acting as they are expected to, with Parrikar insisting that “action is to be taken as per provisions of law”. This could mean a real shake up for those who are not following the correct rules, so look out for a great deal of changes in the near future, and even more when the new regulations come into effect! Apparently nine casinos have actually defaulted on their tax revenue payments, though it remains to be seen whether this is a case of simple refusal to pay or some deeper financial difficulties.
Some speculation can also be made on the future of gambling in the area if restrictions become too tight. With online gambling already a massive drain on the income of land based casinos, and many of them based off shore so that all of the tax profits go to different nations, it remains to be seen whether Goan land based casinos can retain the kind of revenue that they need. This could spell a downswing in revenue for both the government and the casinos themselves, which will not be good news for anyone – least of all the Goans who would benefit from the tax.