Thursday, January 15, 2009

Goa and Casinos. A sensible combination?

Goa has been the pride of India when it comes to beach paradise.Naturally endowed with a cultural fusion of eaGoa beachst blending with the west, Goa is host to architectural marvels ranging fromGoa basilica temples and churches to Portuguese houses, verdant greenery, flora and fauna and adorable beaches. Goan people are affable and have been known to be very friendly.The tourist therefore finds Goa to be the perfect destination to unwind and leave the troubles of the world behind him.

Over the last few years Goa has suddenly earned another reason for tourists to flock to this beautiful place. Casinos. The only state in the  country to permit gambling dens legally, Goa is being currently vcaravela casino in Goa iewed as the gambling capital of the country since quite a few casinos have been operating in Goa. Initially the introduction of the Casinos were made offshore with the debut of the Caravela casino off the river Mandovi, but later these casinos have found their way onshore as well.

The systematic spread of these casinos have found few supporters within Goa. Just like the rest of the country, Goa has its shcasino roulette tableare of the tradition to frown on such organised gambling sources. Goans have always viewed casinos as an unnecessary evil  and are subjecting themselves to the impression that Goans could get corrupted by the lure of gambling thereby enticing themselves into vices leading to bankruptcy and domestic troubles within homes.

However the above fears seem to be a clear case of unfounded belief. For long, Goa, as is the rest of the country, steeped in gambling of different and players Matka, the biggest domestic troublemaker has been the fond delight of a certain large class of Goans till today. Card game betting has been another forte of all classes. Lotteries have attracted o ne and all since time immemorial and everybody has lapped them at some time or the other. More recently the modern version LOTTO has found plenty of admirers. Given the passion for soccer in Goa, betting on football matches has always been the passionate delight of different individuals and groups. The stock market shares and mutual funds, as many have found painfully in recent times have also been added to the category of gambling although many may differ on the subject. So in conclusion, it is not as if we Goans are new to gambling. We have it written rather too loud all over us.

However to mention the above different ways into which Goans have been lured into gambling does not support the need for Goans to adopt another method to relieve themselves of their hard earned money. Casinos are therefore not for us. And that is exactly what it is.

The entry fee into a casino is over Rs 200 which is an amount a Goan could ill afford merely to enter a gambling den(He would rather think to himself to be better off eating his favourite fish with that amount.) The actual money involved in playing the Casino games could therefore be out of the budget of the average Goan. This therefore dissolves the myth that Goans can be lured by these casinos. Its very unlikely.

Casinos are meant for the affluent and the rich who have that extra money to burn. They somehow enjoy the spirit of the casino. For them it is pure adrenalin driving them to these gambling Goa temple destinations for the pure pleasure of gambling and mingling in that so called high society. For Goa, it means much needed revenue. It also means employment opportunities for Goans creating jobs for various classes of individuals and the tax money earned helps the state to offset various cost heads such as education, government schemes to unemployed, doles to the elderly etc.

While we are aware that we need to promote Goa as the destination for the world tourist to be continuously interested in visiting frequently, we should ask ourselves whether we are impairing the cause by meaningless opposition when the issue is only a win-win situation Goa casino for the state. We need to cater to varied tastes of tourists an d casinos are an addition to that variety. It exhibits a tourist area's freedom of entertainment and fun. It can only do good for the revenue of Goa. Besides if some Goans do visit the casinos they are the ones who have the excessive cash such as politicians, businessmen etc., to spend on the luxuries of life and at best we should wish them good luck.

Our major enemies disrupting social life in Goa, continue to be matka, alcohol and drugs for which Goa is gaining unnecessary notoriety. These are the issues which Goans need to vociferously fight against, to ensure their abolition in Goa as it is bound to decay our society without doubt.

Xittuk Goencar

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