Goa: Cong questions plan of casinos at new airport

Goa: Cong questions plan of casinos at new airport

Pictorial representation. Photo credit: Reuters

The Congress questioned on Wednesday the Goa government's decision to set up casinos at the proposed international airport at Mopa in North Goa.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had recently said in the state Assembly that the proposed greenfield airport will have casinos, besides hotels and other facilities in it.

GMR International has won the contract to built and operate this airport, which would be the second such facility in the state once commissioned in 2021.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said the Gambling Act does not allow casinos to be set up at an airport.

"The Goa Gambling Act defines where casinos can be operated in the state. So far, there is nothing in the Act that allows casinos to be set up at the airport," the former chief minister said.

"I don't know how the government signed with the concessioner that casinos would be allowed at the airport. That is the fundamental question," Kamat added.

The LoP said he would raise this question in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly.

Responding to a question tabled by BJP MLA Wilfred De Sa earlier this week, Sawant had said in the House that 232 acres of land at the airport has been earmarked for commercial development.

Apart from casinos, hotels of various categories, eco-adventure, and wellness resorts, as well as a shopping plaza would be constructed at the airport, he had said.