Panel flays Goa casino licensing norms

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.

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