Ravi backtracks on casino remark, B C Patil backs idea

Ravi backtracks on casino remark, but B C Patil backs idea

Minister for Tourism C T Ravi has clarified that he did not state that casinos (gambling centres) will be opened in Karnataka, even as Agriculture Minister B C Patil said casinos would help the economy.

"During an interaction at FKCCI, I just stated that there are ample ways to attract tourism and casinos are one among them," he told reporters in Chikkamagaluru on Sunday.  

He said, "There was discussion on tourism in Goa, which is known for pubs and clubs. There was also talk on gambling centres in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Las Vegas attracting tourists. When you look at the number of people from India and Karnataka visiting Sri Lanka and the number of people from Karnataka visiting Goa, one can understand the truth in my statement." 

"People visit Las Vegas for gambling and entertainment, which has helped to promote tourism there. Sri Lanka also turned into a tourist destination for the same reason. One will know the reality by watching the full video of the FKCCI interaction," said the minister. 

Ravi also tweeted that there was no proposal for the same yet. "During my interaction with FKCCI, I had mentioned that many countries have promoted tourism through casinos. Isn't it a fact that lakhs of Indians go abroad to play in Casinos? Can anyone stop them? At the moment, there is no proposal before Our Govt to set up Casinos here," he tweeted.

Defending Ravi's statement, Patil said in Chitradurga, "Many overseas and local tourists visit casinos in Singapore, Macau and Sri Lanka. If such is the case, what's wrong in starting casinos here, as it will help the local economy."

Include plan in budget, dares Cong

The State Congress has dared Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to include the proposal for casinos in Karnataka in the upcoming budget, reports DHNS from Bengaluru.

Speaking to reporters, Congress leader D K Shivakumar said Yediyurappa should propose casinos in the budget and explain its benefits in detail.

"We want welfare of the state, let him explain how it will benefit the state," he said, adding that it was too premature to comment on the issue.


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