International edition
September 24, 2021

Significant dip in operations

India: Currency demonetization puts odds against casinos

India: Currency demonetization puts odds against casinos
Fortunes of the five offshore casino operators in Goa seemed to hang as uncertain as the ball spinning on the roulette table after news broke out of the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 notes on Tuesday night.
India | 11/11/2016

Fortunes of the five offshore casino operators in Goa seemed to hang as uncertain as the ball spinning on the roulette table after news broke out of the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 notes on Tuesday night.

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asino operators were left baffled and wondering how business will continue. "So you want to catch a thief, and to do so, you light your house on fire. The thief may be caught, but your house has been burned," an offshore casino operator told TOI.

Reacting to the PM's announcement on Tuesday night, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said "Casinos are likely to get affected. All those with black money will be affected. Those with clean money need not worry."

Even though no official comments were made by casino managements, several sources indicated a significant dip in operations. While some casino operators have stopped accepting notes of 500 and 1,000 denominations, others continue to accept the scrapped currency notes up to a specified limit.

"Our company seniors have directed us to accept 500 and 1,000 notes for now, but with an upper limit of 5,000. No one can buy chips worth more than that and this is applicable to payments also made by credit cards," said a casino employee, adding that winning proceeds are also paid to punters in the denominations of 500 and 1,000.

An operating head of an offshore casino said that business has been affected badly, and they have been running short of currency notes to reward winners. "Most are unwilling to accept 500 and 1,000 notes," he said.

Casinos, which earn one-third of Goa's total entertainment tax, have also imposed a restriction on gamblers taking away the winning chips in order to stop them from being used to convert black money. It is also feared that state coffers may be hit by the dip in casino business in the next few months. Commissioner, commercial taxes, Dipak Bandekar said "We are receiving information of casino operations being hit". Cars were seen lining up on Wednesday night along the Mandovi river promenade where customers are ferried to the offshore vessels. For the record, offshore casino vessels also offer entertainment and dining facilities which attracts tourists as well as locals.

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