Goa minister in casino controversy

Gerard Fernandes is general manager of Update Recreations Pvt Ltd which run casinos in four luxury hotels in Goa and the offshore Casino Rio. Late Thursday, the Colva police filed a case against the NCP minister and one of his friends for threatening Fernandes at the Majorda Beach Resort casino. Pacheco in turn filed a counter-complaint claiming the casino failed to honour the payment of Rs 1.53 crore he won at the roulette tables over the course of a week last May.

SP South Goa Allan D’Sa told Deccan Herald the case is being investigated. The police have the CCTV footage from the luxury hotel’s casino and these were being studied, D’Sa said.
Part of snide jokes in political circles, Pacheco’s attraction to the roulette tables has spun out of control, say casino operators who have had enough of his brash behaviour. “We’ve reached a point where enough is enough and we refuse to succumb to anymore arm-twisting, even from a minister,” Fernandes told this newspaper. He says he has documentary evidence to prove the NCP minister owes his company Rs 28 lakh in gambling debts. “Because he was unable to pay this he tried to extort Rs 1.5 crore from us. He said we should pay up or he would shut us down,” Fernandes said.Pacheco, on a tour abroad was not available for comment.

His secretary Lyndon Monteiro said the casino paid Rs 28 lakh of the minister’s Rs 1.53 crore winnings  and promised to pay the rest in installments with the director standing surety. The casino was making up the  allegations because it wants to default on the payment, Monteiro said.

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