As a reflex to the drowning of a 20 year old student from Hyderabad off the ship of a Goa Casino, the National Students Union of India(NSUI) demanded yesterday that the age bar for entry to such establishments be raised to 25. It may be recalled hear that the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Aug 2012 barred persons below the age of 21 from entering the casino’s gaming areas by amending the Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill 2012. The amendment also made it mandatory for casino operators to check the age of their patrons before allowing them to set foot near the gambling stations. But the drowning of Dhanush Sai of Andhra Pradesh off MV Boa Sorte, a vessel operated by Casino Carnival has prompted national bodies to raise their voice against introducing stricter norms.
Hasiba Amin, state NSUI president, said that youngsters are being lured by the glamorous casino culture and they should be stopped right away, or measures should be taken to ensure that the age-bar on entry should be hiked to at least 25 years. She insisted that the age bar be hiked soon to discourage youngsters from going to casinos.
Dhanush was on a holiday along with his two friends in Goa when they decided to go to the Casino ship. It is learnt that he slipped off the second floor of the vessel since it was raining and the ground very slippery. His body was found only on Monday from the River Mandovi.
The lure of gambling and entertainment took Dhanush’s life, human rights bodies state and are coming up in equal voices against the off shore Goa Casinos. There are currently 5 off shore Goa casinos and many are also nestled inside 5 star hotels.