In the Indian state of Goa, casino operators are grumpy about the new rules banning local residents; however, one casino perhaps won’t welcome back the mob of locals arrested for rampaging inside the venue.
Police were called to the casino at the La Calypso Hotel in North Goa last Thursday, after receiving reports that at around 3:30am, a mass of individuals had entered the casino and started bullying staff and a few of the other 300 or so guests inside the venue. The casino is run by Casino Pride Group.
As reported by calvinayre.com, police arrested between 15-38 of the agitators on suspicion of rampaging and are searching for a few more of the suspects, some of whom were thought to be ‘bouncers’ working for a security agency.
Police came after getting a call saying the miscreants were holding the staff and other guests hostage, supposedly due to a quarrel over winnings from the casino. However, later reports showed that businessman Kaushal Khanna was one of those arrested. He is one of the directors of La Calypso Hotels Pvt Ltd.
According to the report by the Herald Goa, Khanna had leased the hotel’s operations to Atlantis Entertainment; however, after the lease expired last January, Atlantis supposedly refused to vacate the property, supposedly due to Khanna declining to release the Rs100m (US$1.4m) deposit made by Atlantis. Khanna supposedly prevailed in a case brought before the National Company Law Tribunal in New Delhi; however, Atlantis didn’t leave.
As a result of this deadlock, Khanna supposedly led the ‘riot’ in to try to force Atlantis from the site, only to have the casino security lock the doors to stop anyone from leaving. Then, Khanna and his mob supposedly started damaging property and bullying casino staff.
Shrinivas Nayak, Atlantis Entertainment representative, supposedly filed the complaint against Khanna and his cronies, charging them of stealing money and gaming chips worth almost Rs200m ($2.8m). A local court rejected Khanna’s bail application this weekend, letting police detain him for 10 days.
CASINO OPERATORS ANNOYED BY LOCALS BAN
In the meantime, the Goa government’s ban on local residents entering the state’s casinos has operators protesting that the rules, which were implemented on February 1, are too unclear to apply with any guarantee that they’re doing what they should be doing.
A land-based casino operator was quoted by the Nahvind Times saying it was “not clear whether the order is a blanket ban or whether entry will be allowed with a permit.” One of Goa’s floating casino operators said that many locals visit the casinos “for ambience as the entertainment is good,” so shouldn’t they be allowed to enter as long as they don’t gamble?
The operators also protest that the government is taking a radical step to handle a non-problem. Surveys have revealed that just 1.1% of Goans visit casinos every month, and a land-based casino manager said locals comprised only around 5% of his venue’s customers.