Karnataka Tourism Department Pushes For Offshore Casinos

Indian FlagIn India, Karnataka’s State Tourism Department is supporting its proposal for setting up offshore casinos in the coastal regions. The department is of the view that such kind of move is likely to boost the tourism in the state. According to the department, the cruises and offshore casinos in the districts of Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada would entice a lot of visitors to the aforementioned areas. This, in turn, will increase the State’s revenue and generate lucrative jobs.

Karnataka’s Tourism Department has suggested that the casinos in the state should be first allowed to be run in boats or yachts all over the coasts of the state. It further suggested that the entry to these casinos should be provided to foreign visitors and no one else.

If this proposal from the Tourism Department turns out successful, then the Karnataka State could expand the program to the beach cities of Tadri, Belekeri, Malpe as well to the neighbouring beaches with the consideration that it would allow the local people to enter into these casinos.

Invest Karnataka

The present Industries Minister and the former Tourism Minister Mr R V Deshpande supports the proposal of Karnataka’s tourism department. He said that he would make a proposal in front of State Cabinet for casinos in Karwar. But the sad part is that Priyank M Kharge who is the current Tourism Minister objects to the proposal as he is not very excited about this casino proposal.

Mr Kharge has stated that his department has received many proposals from different companies for setting up offshore casinos just like in Goa in the coastal regions of Karnataka. But the department is not very fast on this initiative. He further said that since gambling and lottery are already banned in Karnataka, opening up offshore casinos will be met with strong opposition from the people.

In the Invest Karnataka 2016 Conference, Mr Kharge had discussed the policy relating to casino and cruise. There should be a policy before the casino licenses can be issued in the state. He further added that the proposal for the casinos to be legalised in Karnataka will be discussed in a few days time.

According to some sources, many of the ministers in Karnataka favour the introduction of the offshore casinos in the coastal regions of the state and believe that the proposal can get approved instead of getting opposed by people. A senior officer from Karnataka’s Tourism Department made a statement:

It's time casinos were legalised in coastal areas to promote tourism. A lot of people from Karnataka go to Goa to visit casinos. Many illegal clubs are functioning from apartments and rented office spaces. The state is losing out on a lot of revenue by not legalising casino.

In India only 3 states named Daman & Diu, Sikkim and Goa offer legalised casino gambling at the present time. In Goa, one can find 10 onshore casinos and 4 offshore casinos making the total count to 14. These casinos annually pay Rs 100 crore to the state of Goa annually.

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