Panel flays Goa casino licensing norms
An ad hoc committee of the Goa Legislative Assembly headed by Opposition Leader Manohar Parrikar has brought to light several irregularities in the licences handed out to casino operators in Goa.
Grilling officials here, the committee pointed out that the government had shown undue haste in clearing the licence of a new operator with the chief secretary and under-secretary signing the files on a holiday. Baldev Raj Arora and Ashok Kumar Khetarpal of Delhi were granted an offshore casino licence for the boat M V Pride on September 13, 2008, a day when government offices were shut. And the pay order issued by their company on April 15, 2008 for Rs 10 lakh as processing fee and Rs 5 cr as casino licence fee, was only deposited on September 15, 2008.
The committee also found a land-based casino continued to operate though its licence had expired. The panel asked why Paradise casino had not been shut though its gaming license had expired.