A bill to restrict offshore casino operations introduced in Goa

A bill seeking to restrict offshore casinos to the sea beyond five nautical miles from Goa’s coast was introduced in the Goa Assembly last week. It also specified that casinos should be operated only from maritime vessels.

’The Goa Public Gambling (Amendment) Bill, 2008’ introduced by the leader of the opposition, Manohar Parrikar during the slot for private members’ bills, sought to amend section 13A of the Goa Public Gambling Act, 1976.

At present, offshore casinos are operated in inland waterways, especially on the river Mandovi in the absence of clear-cut law demarcating an area in which these vessels might operate.

While introducing the bill, Parrikar said that despite public protests the glaring violation continues due to the loopholes in the law, which needs to be plugged. Similarly, inland vessels are used instead of maritime vessels.

The House also granted leave to Parrikar to introduce another private members’ bill, the Goa Town and Country Planning (Repeal of Amendment) Act No 10 of 2008) Bill, 2008, seeking to omit earlier amendments which had empowered the state government to undertake developmental work by bypassing the regional plan.

The amendment 16/16A to the TCP Act, which had been introduced by the state government after it first promulgated an ordinance dated February 29, 2008, had kicked up much dust as the regional plan 2021 was then in the process of being formulated.

Seeking to omit the amendments from the original Act through his bill, the opposition leader said that not doing so would be unjust to the people’s traditional vision to have the regional plan to preserve and protect the general interests of the state.

In yet another Bill, the Goa Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2008, Parrikar sought an amendment to section 46 of the original Act to facilitate the election of women candidates to the post of sarpanchas in the local bodies. If the Bill is passed, it would help election of women candidates to offices of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch by self nomination and without the requirement of a proposer or seconder.

Parrikar, while tabling the Bill, stated that despite reservations for women in local self governing bodies, woman candidates are often hard pressed for support for their nomination in the form of proposers due to a variety of reasons.