State BJP spokesman Wilfred Mesquita said, “I will tell Chief Minister that if possible the fees should not be brought down. I will convey media’s sentiments to him.” Mesquita faced a volley of questions about his own party-led Government’s decision (announced by Parrikar during Budget presentation) to cut down the entry fee for off shore casinos and bringing it par with on shore ones.
The BJP leader called the press conference to speak on the Budget, which he said, has fulfilled majority of the promises made by the party in its election manifesto. There are six off-shore casinos operational along Mandovi River in Panaji.
The casino operators charge Rs 2,000 each from customers as the entry fee. They reimburse Rs 1,500 in the form of gambling chips which can be baited off-shore.
Mesquita said the off shore casino operators will not be able to cheat the Government to a larger extend as entry fee itself has been reduced. Parrikar, while slashing the entry fee, had hiked the annual license fee per off-shore casino from Rs five crore to Rs 6.5 crore.
The license fee for land-based casinos, which number around 15, has been hiked from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 2.5 crore.