A recently declassified US Diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks claims that both Congress and BJP were equally responsible for setting up the Goa Casinos though both opposed it when in opposition. It also claims that the Goa Casinos were an attempt of the Indian Government to lure Indian gambling traffic away from Nepal’s casinos.
This report is a part of the US embassy’s weekly compilation of economic highlights and also observes that Goa is quite dependent on tourism and amending the laws to allow offshore casinos was an attempt to boost tourism.
It goes on to elaborate that it was in 1992 when the Congress Government amended the Goa Public Gambling Act and allowed slot machines in five star hotels. Later table games were also permitted in off shore casinos. While the BJP opposed the move when in opposition, it later during Manohar Parrikar’s first tenure from 2000 to 2004 granted a license to Casino Goa to operate its casinos.
It is worth mentioning here that in a recent report it was highlighted that the Goa Casinos contributes over Rs. 135 crores in terms of revenues to the government funds.