Goa slashes casino entry fee to Rs.500

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 25, 2010 15:30 hrs

After hiking the entry fee in both land-based and offshore casinos from Rs.200 to Rs.2,000 in the last budget, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Thursday sought to 'rationalise' the fee structure by slashing the cost of entering land-based casinos to Rs.500.

Kamat, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that the reduction in entry fee 'would provide some relief to the industry (land-based casinos)'.

Claiming that the decision to hike the fees was 'to restrain to a large extent, the entry of Goan youth to casinos', Kamat said that he had subsequently received several representations from the land-based casino operators to lower the fee from Rs.2,000.

Kamat also said that his government was in the process of setting up a system to put in place gaming regulations to govern casino operations in the state.

'I propose to set up a committee in association with financial intelligence unit, to examine the issue in greater detail and make necessary recommendations,' Kamat said, adding that a separate act for regulating casino gaming was also in the offing.

'I also intend to study the possibilities of commencing online gaming as part of entertainment facilities for visiting tourists,' he said.

There are presently more than a dozen land-based casinos in the various five star hotels spread throughout Goa, in addition to the seven offshore casinos licensed to operate off the coast of the state.