Goa casinos to be closed on Gandhi Jayanti

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Panaji, Oct 1: Buckling under pressure from the opposition, the Goa government Wednesday ordered the closure of casinos on Gandhi Jayanti in deference to Mahatma Gandhi.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said: "The casinos will be closed from midnight today (Wednesday) to tomorrow midnight."

The state has five offshore casinos, and a dozen onshore casinos operating from various five-star hotels.

The Congress has been demanding a symbolic closure of these casinos Oct 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Bars and other liquor selling outlets remain closed on Oct 2.

Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat called the move "sensible and positive".

"We would appreciate if Parrikar sticks to his own demands, which he had made with respect to casinos while he was leader of opposition," Kamat said.

When in the opposition, the BJP had opposed the casinos and threatened to "throw casinos out of Goa" once in power.

Goa is known as the mecca of nightlife tourism and is emerging as the country's leading gambling destination.

IANS

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