Goa can easily be termed as the gambling capital of India. Thousands of tourists flock to the state each year from within India as well as from far-away places like Europe, due to the flexibility of the norms associated with gambling and casinos.
In recent years though, the casino sector in Goa has taken a huge hit in terms revenue, with the government of Goa levying heavy taxes on their operations. However, in a recent development, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), the publicly-owned body that regulates tourism, has drafted a tourism policy.
The newly drafted policy includes a slew of measures to boost the leisure and entertainment sector in the state. The policy, among others, advocates redeveloping the assets of the state-run GTDC through the ‘private sector’ and disengaging the corporation from various services.
The policy talks about creating a world class gaming cluster or a hub within the state to relocate the offshore casinos situated presently in the Mandovi river, to the newly formed gaming complex. The draft also discusses setting up a Goa Tourism Board (GTB), a body which can replace the GTDC and the State Level Marketing and Promotion Committee (SLMPC) and take up their responsibilities.
The GTB would be headed by the Tourism Minister of Goa. The draft policy is expected to be discussed by state MLAs in a meeting on 16th January, headed by the incumbent Tourism Minister of Goa Manohar Ajgaonkar.
The policy also discusses the development of golf courses and marinas in the coastal state with a “conscious consideration of best practices to limit negative impact on the environment.” The setting up of marinas previously had evoked negative reactions by local fishermen. A proposed golf course project had also faced resistance by some environmental activists some time ago.
A few days ago, IT industry veteran Mohandas Pai was in Goa for a short visit and he also recommended expanding Goa’s casino industry and suggested the burgeoning Singapore casino model to be mirrored in Goa as well. Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more gambling industry news as well as general poker news from around the world.
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