PANAJI: Goa government today took a decision to keep the casinos across the state closed for 24 hours on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters after chairing a Cabinet meeting today that the casinos, including those operating on the vessels off shore, would remain shut from Wednesday midnight till 12 am on Thursday.
"As part of the move, playing games in the casinos has been prohibited. However, people would be allowed entry into the casinos only for the purpose of attending other entertainment programmes and events and for availing the restaurant facility," Parrikar said.
"Since the decision to shut down casinos for a day has been taken at the last minute, we are allowing thee entry to casino staff, but from next year onwards the casinos would be shut down completely," Parrikar said.
Opposition party Congress had demanded that the casinos be kept shut on October 2 as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi.
Parrikar said that the government took a decision to this effect following a demand by Congress.
"For the first time, Congress put up a sensible demand and that is why we decided to accept it," he added.
There are four off shore casino vessels, while dozen of on shore casinos operating in the state.