Court will slap me in face, if I get rid of casinos: Goa CM

 If he gets rid of Goa`s offshore casinos, he will get a slap in the face from the judiciary, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Wednesday.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015, 00:17 AM IST

Panaji: If he gets rid of Goa`s offshore casinos, he will get a slap in the face from the judiciary, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Wednesday.

Parsekar, who was speaking at the annual day function of the Goa chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), also said his government`s decision to retain casinos would send a good signal to industrialists keen on investing in the state.

"I just cannot unilaterally send them (offshore casinos) home. There are laws of the land. My decision can be challenged in the court of law and I could get a slap on my face," Parsekar said.

Goa has five operational offshore casinos parked in the Mandovi river off Panaji, which attract hundreds of thousands of gamblers to the state annually.

Most of the offshore casinos were set up during the Congress rule in the state from 2007-2012.

Ahead of the 2012 state assembly poll, the BJP, which had led a sustained campaign against the casino industry for several years, promised that if voted to power, its government would rid the river of the casinos.

However, after coming to power, then chief minister Manohar Parrikar and now his successor Parsekar have done a U-turn on the promise made in the BJP poll manifesto in 2012.

Parsekar now claims that getting rid of the casino industry would send a wrong signal to investors keen on setting up businesses in Goa.

"I do not want to send a wrong signal to the industry as well. A person who invests here, or intends investing, needs to have faith in the government," Parsekar said.