The Goa government has earned a whopping Rs 15.30 crore in revenue from the offshore and land-based casinos operating in financial year 2011-12, the assembly data revealed.
The information tabled in the state legislative assembly on Friday stated that the revenue is generated from the entry fees at casinos operating in the state. The statistics, compiled by the state commercial taxes, further show that the government has collected more than Rs 9.61 crores in 2010-11 and Rs 10.88 crores the year before.
An IIT-scholar, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in the budget 2012-13 had scaled down the high entry charges to off-shore casinos from Rs 2000 to Rs 500. The erstwhile Congress government had in fact increased the entry fees from Rs 500 to Rs 2000. Parrikar had said that his intention was to compensate the annual license fees of the off-shore casinos, which has been hiked to Rs 6.5 crore a year.
From one off-shore casino in 1999, the then government gave permission to six more vessels on Mandovi River in 2006.
As leader of opposition, Parrikar had demanded scrapping of off-shore casinos. After taking over the government, he took a U-turn clarifying that closure of casinos will send a wrong message to investors.
Various non-governmental organizations and activists have now protested Parrikar’s stand. The distance between each off-shore casino from the Captain of Ports office is between 50 mtrs and 800 mtrs. There are 16 licensed casinos operating in the state.