he rules were drafted by the Home Department and require approval by the Goa government. Additional Home Secretary, Sanjiv Gadkar, confirmed to the Times of India this week that the draft regulation had been designed and submitted for approval. Players would be required to show proof of identity and residency with a passport or government-issued ID in order to sign up and receive a permit that would authorize casino access in the Indian state.
There would also be provisions to arrest anyone 21 years or younger found gambling in casinos. The checks will be enforced by a gaming commissioner, whose qualification and appointment procedure has been outlined in the draft regulations. The commissioner will be required to appoint agents to issue the permits, following sufficient identity checks.
The rules also state that authorities, including the police, would conduct regular searches of casinos to check identities and licenses.
Casinos would be fined for not adhering to the rules and local residents caught gambling could face prosecution under the criminal provisions of the Goa Public Gaming Bill, being deemed as participating in a ‘common gaming house’.
Approval and implementation of the regulations is expected to take six months to a year, in which time licenses of the state’s four offshore casinos are up for renewal on March 31. The government is being pressured to not renew the licenses and the new rules would help ease some concerns of several political parties and non-government organizations.
But senior officials in the government argue that any move to ban local residents from entering casinos would be detrimental. “Any such move will be unconstitutional and will be counterproductive,” remarked William Britto, owner of Chances casinos, who noted the existing growth in the Indian gaming industry has been fuelling tourism and job creation.