Two days ahead of vote count, Goa allows one more offshore casino
Panaji, March 9: With the counting of the votes polled in the state assembly elections just two days away, the BJP government in Goa on Thursday granted licence to a sixth offshore casino operated by a firm linked to former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda.
The licence was issued by the state Home Department following an ultimatum given to the state government on Wednesday by the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court, directing the government to decide on the licence issue within 24 hours.
"The order was issued following the directive of the honourable High Court to decide within 24 hours," a source in the Home Ministry said.
Kanda's offshore casino was non-operational for years, and the holding company Golden Globe Hotels Private limited had notched up dues to the tune of Rs 46 crore.
The dues were cleared by Kanda's company earlier in October last year.
Goa currently has five offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos operating in the state.
The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have promised to ban the casino industry in the state, if they come to power, while the BJP has assured that the casino industry will be allowed to continue.
Former Haryana Minister Kanda is the prime accused as the abettor in the suicide of his 23-year-old employee, Geetika Sharma. He was granted bail in 2014 by a Delhi court.