It took the death of 20 year old Dhanush from Hyderabad off an offshore Goa Casino to make this happen. For over a decade, the Goa casinos have had a somewhat unregulated run. But now it seems a gaming commission will soon be in place to control and monitor them. Today, the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced that such a commission would be in place by August.
According to the CM, a gaming commission to regulate operations of both onshore and offshore casinos will ensure that the gambling operations play by the rules defined by the state and not by the ‘house’, a term conventionally used to describe a casino’s back-end operation.
It may be recalled here that such a commission was announced in 2010 also but the plan didn’t gain momentum. But ever since national bodies have come in for stricter action against these Goa Casinos since the drowning of Dhanush off a casino vessel, the government has decided to take up the plan again. While various people are coming up in plenty about raising the age bar for entry to these casinos, a gaming commission could be the answer to the problems of the players as well.
A senior official said, “It will be a body which will act as a regulator, which will evolve casino norms on a par with world standards and through constant checks and inspections ensure that the norms are followed. It will also have penalizing powers,” said an official who is involved in drafting the parameters of the regulatory body.
Currently there isn’t any government system to monitor the revenues or check the entry barriers of the 5 offshore casinos vessels in Goa or the many casinos in 5 star hotels. Once the gaming commission is in place, both the players and the government will benefit.