Panaji: Thestate government may tweak the draft Goa Public Gambling Rules, 2022, to regulate casino operations in the state. The state government is likely to notify the rules within the next two months.
A senior government officer said that the home department will go through the draft rules and if required some changes will be made to give total functional powers to the gaming commissioner. “We will complete the exercise within two months and rules will be notified,” an officer said.
The officer said that “presently there is no mechanism in place” to check the profile of every casino client and understand the source of money — whether legal or from illegal sources. The officer said that there is no mechanism in place to understand the amount of money spent by a casino client while playing on any offshore or onshore casino.
The senior officer said as per the proposed rules, the gaming commissioner will have the power to issue entry tickets to the casinos. Presently, the entry tickets are issued by the casino operators.
Once the rules come into force, the gaming commissioner will maintain a record of the number of visitors to a casino. “Next day, the gaming commissioner will be able to check the inventory to find how many people entered a casino,” the officer said.
In March 2019, the state government had appointed the commissioner of commercial taxes as the gaming commissioner, but since the rules were not framed, his duties were not defined.
The senior officer said that once approved and notified, it will be the first time that such rules for regulating casino operations will come into force. As per the draft rules, the gaming commissioner is empowered to exercise overall control over the games conducted in the designated areas and is also authorised to maintain the records and documents in connection with the games.
The officer said that casino licencing and collection of annual recurring fees is handled by the home department, once the rules come into force, the gaming commissioner will monitor the casino operations.
The officer also said that in case of any complaint, the home department looks into it, but once the rules are notified, the gaming commissioner will be empowered to take cognisance and act accordingly.
The proposed rules also give the commissioner the right to order closure, to seal any casino in a five-star hotel or to take custody of any casino vessel if there are any violations, the officer said.
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