CCP removes illegal casino signboards and structures in Panjim

On Tuesday, the City Corporation of Panaji (CCP) started action against illegal construction by Kings Casino and others in Goa. The CCP members dismantled the illegal structures that were encroaching onto the promenade area pathway. Signboards and the extension of entrances, which blocked some portion of the footpath, were among the unlawful structures that were removed.

In the video shared by Herald Goa, we can see the CCP workers taking down signboards and carrying away removed structures in the presence of police. While casinos are one of the biggest revenue generators for the state exchequer, some of them reportedly indulge in illegal activities at times.

Talking about casinos, CM Pramod Sawant recently stated in the Assembly’s monsoon session that the casinos produced Rs 936.64 crore for the state treasury from April 1, 2019 to July 15, 2023. In terms of yearly revenue generation, the state earns a whopping Rs 368.50 crore via licence fees.

Meanwhile, the GST Council has ruled that casinos, online real money gaming and horse racing clubs, will be taxed at a rate of 28% on their full face value. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman indicated in the Rajya Sabha yesterday that the decision is likely to produce more revenue than the current levels. This means that the government is heavily banking on gaming and casinos for revenue.

It is important to mention that Goa along with Delhi and Sikkim was not in favour of the decision. Both Sikkim and Goa wanted the tax to be leveld on the gross gaming revenue (GGR). However, the opposition in the state created pressure by claiming that the government works for the welfare of the casinos and not the people.  Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) General Secretary Vijay Bhike alleged that the state is not working for the welfare of people. He suggested that the government should focus on other welfare options rather than helping the casinos with lower taxes.