Panaji: Fearing the closure of off-shore casinos in the coastal state, ahead of the general elections, Goa Congress has swore by employment oppurtunities created by these vessels for many of the locals.
“There are around 2,500 Goan youths employed on all the six off-shore casinos in the state. They will be rendered jobless if these casinos are shut,” Congress Goa spokesman Vishnu Surya Wagh said on Wednesday afternoon.
The Congress leader said that the casinos have brought in good employment opportunities for Goan youths, who are employed on good posts like dealers, inspectors, slot assistants, security, housekeeping and others.
Also, many youths who were working outside the state had returned back after off-shore casinos offered them the jobs, Wagh said. He said that the party has nothing to do with the court cases fought by the casino managements but was wary of the fact that right wing organisations had said that off shore casinos should be scrapped from the state.
Meanwhile, Ramchandra Tari, cashier on Maharaja Casino, who was present for the press conference with 50-odd youths, said, “we are getting good salary here.. The job environment is also satisfactory. We will be left jobless if casinos are shut.”
He said that every time there is controversy over casino, they fear that they may be laid off. The off-shore casinos in the state are sailing troubled waters after main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pointed out various illegalities in them.
The state government in their recent order had asked these casinos to move out of city limits. All the six off-shore casino managements had challenged the state government order in the High Court.
The casinos also faced action for not having food and drug administration licences to run the restaurants.
Goa Pollution Control Board had also sealed three casinos under Hazardous Waste Management Act.
The casinos were later released after they procured necessary permission from state pollution control board.