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We oppose offshore casinos, ok with land ones: Parrikar

Goa,Business/Economy, Wed, 05 Mar 2014 IANS

Panaji, March 5 (IANS) The Goa BJP is opposed only to offshore casinos and not onshore ones, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the state assembly Wednesday.

He also said no operational offshore casino would be allowed to function in the Mandovi river off Panaji by 2015.

Parrikar was replying to a query during question hour during the budget session.

"I assure you that by 2015, there will be no operational casino in the Mandovi," he said.

Parrikar said the five offshore casinos currently operating in the river off Panaji would have to be moved.

"If they approach me, we can think about giving them a place somewhere," he said.

Goa has five operational offshore casinos and 10 five star hotel-run onshore casinos, which attract thousands of people to the state annually.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had been opposing casinos for over seven years, had before elections promised to "throw the casinos into the sea", but after coming to power in 2012 Parrikar said the casinos would be relocated to the deep seas off Goa, but only after four years.

The chief minister has now said the BJP's opposition was only to offshore casinos and not the ones on land.

"Our opposition was only to offshore casinos not onshore casinos. There is a difference," Parrikar said.

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