PANAJI: The Goa government has collected Rs 411 crore in revenue from onshore and offshore casinos in the state in the financial year 2018-19, the Legislative Assembly was told on Wednesday.
Presenting the Performance Budget for Home department, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said an expense of Rs 22 lakh was incurred towards Haj pilgrims in the last fiscal.
Goa Home department implements the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976.
"Under the said Act, presently there are six offshore and eight onshore casinos operating in Goa. The government collected Rs 411.44 crore revenue in the year 2018-19 from these casinos," said the chief minister.
Operation of the casinos is a political hot potato in the coastal state. Some sections of society and social organisations have been demanding closure of the casinos, terming them a social evil.
Virtually endorsing the casino industry, Sawant had earlier said casinos are important for tourism in Goa.
Sawant said the expenses towards Haj pilgrims are met from the Home department budget.
"Expenses related to the Goa State Haj Committee which performs vaccination programme, orientation programme etc.for Mecca pilgrims are met from the budget allotted to Home department.
In 2081-19, an amount of Rs 22.82 lakh was utilised towards the orientation programme, vaccination programme and other expenses for 122 pilgrims," he stated.